CALGARY, June 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (“Oncolytics”)
(TSX:ONC, NASDAQ:ONCY) announced today that a paper entitled “Cell
Carriage, Delivery, and Selective Replication of an Oncolytic Virus in
Tumor in Patients,” has been published in the latest issue of the
journal Science Translational Medicine (Vol. 4 Issue 138 138ra77).
The paper covers findings from a U.K. translational clinical trial (REO
013) investigating intravenous administration of REOLYSIN in patients
with metastatic colorectal cancer prior to surgical resection of liver
metastases. The paper was jointly first-authored by researchers from
the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Leeds, UK and
The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK.
The trial was an open-label, non-randomized, single centre study of
REOLYSIN given intravenously to patients for five consecutive days in
advance of their scheduled operations to remove colorectal cancer
metastasis in the liver. Ten patients were treated with intravenous
REOLYSIN at 1×1010 TCID50, one to four weeks prior to planned surgery. After surgery, the tumor
and surrounding liver tissue were assessed for viral status and
The researchers demonstrated that even though all the treated patients
had preexisting immunity to the virus, intravenously administered
reovirus could still specifically target and infect metastatic liver
tumors in 90% of the patients. The researchers were able to determine
that reovirus was able to evade these neutralizing effects of the
immune system by binding to specific blood cells that would in turn
deliver the virus to the tumor. Analysis of surgical specimens
demonstrated greater, preferential expression of reovirus protein in
malignant cells compared to either tumor stroma or surrounding normal
liver tissue. There was evidence of viral factories within tumor and
recovery of replicating virus from tumor (but not normal liver) in all
four patients from whom fresh tissue was available. This is the first
time that researchers have been able to demonstrate in patients treated
with intravenously delivered oncolytic virus, that a virus could cloak
itself from neutralizing antibodies after systemic administration
through blood cell carriage and specifically target tumor tissue.
“These are key findings that directly further our understanding of how
REOLYSIN interacts with the human immune system and retains its
cytotoxicity in the body following intravenous administration,” said
Dr. Brad Thompson, President and CEO of Oncolytics. “It also highlights
the reovirus’ unique ability to target cancer cells, and create viral
factories within tumor cells, without harming normal, healthy tissue.”
“We believe this trial is a key step forward for virotherapy,” said Dr.
Alan Melcher, Professor of Oncology and Biotherapy at the University of
Leeds, UK. “For the first time it shows in patients that intravenously
injected reovirus selectively targets cancer, but not normal tissue,
for replication and tumor cell killing. It also shows that even when
anti-viral antibodies are present in the circulation, the virus can
evade neutralization by “hitch-hiking” on blood cells to reach its
One of the UK’s largest medical, health and bioscience research bases,
the University of Leeds delivers world leading research in medical engineering, cancer,
cardiovascular studies, epidemiology, molecular genetics,
musculoskeletal medicine, dentistry, psychology and applied health.
Treatments and initiatives developed in Leeds are transforming the
lives of people worldwide with conditions such as diabetes, HIV,
tuberculosis and malaria. www.leeds.ac.uk.
The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) is one of the world’s most influential cancer research
institutes. Scientists and clinicians at the ICR are working every day
to make a real impact on cancer patients’ lives. Through its unique
partnership with The Royal Marsden Hospital and ‘bench-to-bedside’
approach, the ICR is able to create and deliver results in a way that
other institutions cannot. Together the two organisations are rated in
the top four cancer centres globally. The ICR has an outstanding record
of achievement dating back more than 100 years. It provided the first
convincing evidence that DNA damage is the basic cause of cancer,
laying the foundation for the now universally accepted idea that cancer
is a genetic disease. Today it leads the world at isolating
cancer-related genes and discovering new targeted drugs for
personalised cancer treatment. As a college of the University of
London, the ICR provides postgraduate higher education of international
distinction. It has charitable status and relies on support from
partner organisations, charities and the general public. The ICR’s
mission is to make the discoveries that defeat cancer. For more
information visit www.icr.ac.uk.
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
The Royal Marsden opened its doors in 1851 as the world’s first hospital
dedicated to cancer diagnosis, treatment, research and education.
Today, together with its academic partner, The Institute of Cancer
Research (ICR), it is the largest and most comprehensive cancer centre
in Europe treating over 44,000 patients every year. It is a centre of
excellence with an international reputation for groundbreaking research
and pioneering the very latest in cancer treatments and technologies.
The Royal Marsden also provides community services in the London
boroughs of Sutton and Merton and in June 2010, along with the ICR, the
Trust launched a new academic partnership with Mount Vernon Cancer
Centre in Middlesex. Since 2004, the hospital’s charity, The Royal
Marsden Cancer Charity, has helped raise over £50 million to build
theatres, diagnostic centres, and drug development units. Prince
William became President of The Royal Marsden in 2007, following a long
royal connection with the hospital. For more information, visit www.royalmarsden.nhs.uk.
About Oncolytics Biotech Inc.
Oncolytics is a Calgary-based biotechnology company focused on the
development of oncolytic viruses as potential cancer therapeutics.
Oncolytics’ clinical program includes a variety of human trials
including a Phase III trial in head and neck cancers using REOLYSIN,
its proprietary formulation of the human reovirus. For further
information about Oncolytics, please visit: www.oncolyticsbiotech.com.
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 implication of the
materials presented in “Science Translational Medicine” with respect to
REOLYSIN, and the Company’s belief as to the potential of REOLYSIN as a
cancer therapeutic, 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 tolerability of REOLYSIN outside a
controlled test, 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 and uncertainties related to the regulatory process.
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, except as required by applicable
SOURCE Oncolytics Biotech Inc.
Released June 13, 2012