CALGARY, Alberta, October 10, 2002 -- Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (TSX: ONC, NASDAQ: ONCY) (‘Oncolytics’), today announced the appointment of George M. Gill, MD, as Senior Vice President, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs.

“Dr. Gill has more than 30 years of senior level experience in clinical research and regulatory affairs, and has established an outstanding track record, having supported the advancement of more than 20 products – including 11 cancer products - through the regulatory approval process in the United States, Canada and Europe,” said Dr. Brad Thompson, President and CEO of Oncolytics. “As part of our senior management team, Dr. Gill will play a pivotal role in advancing our proprietary product, REOLYSIN®, through clinical and regulatory processes.”

Dr. Gill has been a consultant to the industry since 1999, when he retired from Ligand Pharmaceuticals, where he was Vice President of Clinical Research and later, Medical Affairs. Prior to that, he was the Senior Director and Head of U.S. Clinical and Medical Affairs for ICI Pharmaceuticals (now AstraZeneca). Before that, he was Vice President and Head of Worldwide Regulatory Affairs for The Bristol-Myers Company (now Bristol-Myers Squibb). Dr. Gill began his career in the industry at Hoffman-La Roche where he held several clinical and regulatory positions, ending as Director of the Clinical Oncology Group. Dr. Gill holds a B.Sc. (chemistry) from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and an MD from the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is board certified in pediatrics. Dr. Gill has acted as an independent consultant to Oncolytics for the past year, providing counsel on negotiation of the regulatory process in Canada and the U.S. 

“After a year of consulting with Oncolytics,” said Dr. Gill, “I look forward to advancing the studies of REOLYSIN®, which is an intriguing agent with significant potential as a cancer therapeutic. I am excited about this opportunity.” 

About Oncolytics Biotech Inc.
Oncolytics is a Calgary-based biotechnology company focused on the development of the human reovirus (REOLYSIN®) as a potential cancer therapeutic. Oncolytics’ researchers have demonstrated that the reovirus is able to selectively kill cancer cells and, in vitro, kill human cancer cells derived from many types of cancer including breast, prostate, pancreatic and brain tumours. Research has also yielded successful cancer treatment results in a number of animal models. Phase I clinical trial results have indicated that there were no toxicology-related issues with the administration of the reovirus, and that the reovirus demonstrated activity in injected tumours. Oncolytics is currently conducting a T2 prostate cancer trial, and a Phase I/II recurrent malignant glioma (brain cancer) trial.

This press release contains forward looking statements, within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward looking statements, including the Company’s belief as to the potential of REOLYSIN® as a cancer therapeutic; the Company’s expectations as to the safety and efficacy of REOLYSIN®; the Company’s belief that the Ras pathway has potential in the treatment of many cancers including breast cancer; and the Company’s belief as to the relevance of the results of animal models to the results that may be obtained from human cancer trials, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those in the forward looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the availability of funds and resources to pursue research and development projects, the efficacy of REOLYSIN® as a cancer treatment, the success and timely completion of clinical studies and trials, the Company’s ability to successfully commercialize REOLYSIN®, uncertainties related to the research and development of pharmaceuticals, uncertainties related to the regulatory process and general changes to the economic environment. Investors should consult the Company’s quarterly and annual filings with the Canadian and U.S. securities commissions for additional information on risks and uncertainties relating to the forward looking statements. Investors are cautioned against placing undue reliance on forward looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update these forward looking statements.