CALGARY, Alberta, November 18, 2003 - Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (TSX: ONC, NASDAQ: ONCY) ("Oncolytics") announced that it has been granted U.S. Patent 6,649,157 entitled "Viruses for the Treatment of Cellular Proliferative Disorders." The claims in this patent cover the treatment of Ras mediated tumours using modified herpes viruses.
“We now have issued patents covering the treatment of cancers using three groups of viruses, including herpes, adenovirus and reovirus, that target the Ras pathway,” said Dr. Matt Coffey, Vice President, Product Development of Oncolytics. “Herpes viruses having alterations in the (gamma)34.5 gene are commonly used in programs ranging from basic research to advanced clinical studies.”
The issued claims in this patent cover the use of a herpes virus that has been modified by a mutation in the (gamma)34.5 gene, for the treatment of Ras mediated cancers. This is believed to cause this virus to provide specificity in Ras activated cancer cells.
About Oncolytics Biotech Inc.
Oncolytics is a Calgary-based biotechnology company focused on the development of REOLYSIN®, its proprietary formulation of the human reovirus, as a potential cancer therapeutic. Oncolytics’ researchers have demonstrated that in vitro the reovirus is able to selectively kill human cancer cells that are derived from many types of cancer, including breast, prostate, pancreatic and brain tumours. They have also demonstrated successful results in a number of animal models. Phase I clinical trial results have indicated that REOLYSIN® was well tolerated and that the reovirus demonstrated activity in tumours injected with REOLYSIN®.
This news release contains forward looking statements, within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward looking statements, including among others, the Company’s belief as to, the safety and efficacy of the modified herpes viruses; the Company’s expectations as to the potential applications of the patented technology and other statements relating to anticipated developments in the Company’s business and technologies, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that 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 efficacy of REOLYSIN® as a cancer treatment, the success and timely completion of clinical studies and trials, 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.