CALGARY, AB, --- September 23, 2003 - Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (“Oncolytics”) (TSX:ONC, NASDAQ:ONCY) announced today the publication of a research paper in the September 1, 2003 issue of Cancer Research entitled “Ras-dependent Oncolysis with an Adenovirus VAI Mutant.” The research was conducted by Dr. Ramon Alemany and his group at the Institut Catala d’Oncologia, Barcelona, Spain. The researchers were able to show that VAI mutant adenoviruses selectively replicated in and killed pancreatic cancer cells with a Ras-activated pathway.
Oncolytics announced a research collaboration on July 30, 2003 with Dr. Alemany to develop modified adenoviruses that are selective for Ras-mediated cancers, and currently the Company holds an issued US patent with claims covering the treatment of Ras-mediated tumours using adenoviruses modified in the VAI domain.
“The research demonstrates that modified adenoviruses may represent a promising new tool in the battle against pancreatic cancer while adding to the Company’s intellectual property portfolio and potential pipeline of agents targeting the Ras pathway,” said Dr. Matt Coffey, Vice President of Product Development of Oncolytics.
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 the reovirus is able to selectively kill human cancer cells in vitro that are derived from many types of cancer, including breast, prostate, pancreatic and brain tumours, and have also demonstrated 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 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 the Company’s belief as to the potential of modified adenoviruses as a treatment for cancer and the design, timing and success of planned clinical trial programs and other statements related to anticipated developments in the Company’s business and technologies, all of which 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