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Oncolytics Biotech Inc. Announces Further Results of REOLYSIN (Business Wire) ... particular activation and successfully demonstrated that the virus could kill human cancer cells in vitro derived from breast, prostate, pancreatic and brain tumors,... - Aug 08 5:39 PM ET

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Posted on: 08/08/2001

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Wednesday August 8, 5:39 pm Eastern Time

Press Release

SOURCE: Oncolytics Biotech Inc.

Oncolytics Biotech Inc. Announces Further Results of REOLYSIN

Systemic Treatment of Cancer in Animal Models

CALGARY, Alberta--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 8, 2001--Oncolytics Biotech Inc. ("ONC" or "the Company") (TSE:ONC. - news) reported today that Dr. Patrick Lee and his research group at the University of Calgary have concluded further studies in animal models, successfully demonstrating the systemic administration of REOLYSIN® for the treatment of cancer.

This work complements initial work presented at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) meeting earlier in 2001.

"These results are an exciting additional indication that REOLYSIN® can be administered systemically in animals with an immune system for the treatment of cancer," said Dr. Matt Coffey, Vice President of Product Development for Oncolytics. "Dr. Lee and his colleagues have shown that REOLYSIN® can be used systemically as a mono or sole therapy. In addition, strategies to allow REOLYSIN® to be used systemically in animals with very high immune responses to the virus have now been demonstrated. This is a clear example of the feasibility of repeat administrations of REOLYSIN®. We have previously demonstrated in animals that immune status does not affect tumour regression in animals that have had REOLYSIN® administered directly into tumours."

Dr. Lee and his colleagues earlier reported in an immune competent mouse model, that REOLYSIN® administered intravenously (IV) led to a significant reduction in tumour volume and that co-therapy with cyclosporine or cisplatin further reduced tumour size.

This current work explored the degree of involvement of the immune system in potential systemic REOLYSIN® therapy, and those conditions in animals that may benefit from co-therapy with immune suppressants. Dr. Lee's group found in animals not pre-immunized against the reovirus, that systemic administration of REOLYSIN® was effective in reducing tumour size in mouse models with solid tumours. Animals pre hyperimmunized (immunized to levels significantly higher than those seen as a result of a normal infection or treatment with reovirus) showed no significant tumour regression when treated with REOLYSIN® alone. However, animals pre hyperimmunized with the reovirus and subsequently pulse co-treated with REOLYSIN® and either cyclosporine or cyclophosphamide demonstrated the same level of tumour reduction as the unimmunized animals treated with REOLYSIN® alone.

Oncolytics is a Calgary-based biotechnology company whose focus is the development of the mammalian reovirus based product known as REOLYSIN(r) as a potential cancer therapeutic. The mammalian reovirus infects and kills cancer cells with an activated Ras pathway. Ras is an important component of a pathway controlling normal growth and differentiation of a cell, and when activated, may account for a large proportion of all mammalian tumours. Researchers believe that targeting this pathway could have broad potential in the treatment of many cancers. Oncolytics researchers demonstrated that reovirus was selectively able to kill cancer cells with this particular activation and successfully demonstrated that the virus could kill human cancer cells in vitro derived from breast, prostate, pancreatic and brain tumors, as well as being able to treat tumours successfully in a number of animal models. Oncolytics initiated its Phase I clinical trial on REOLYSIN® in June, 2000 and in May, 2001 filed an investigational new drug submission for a Phase II clinical trial on REOLYSIN® for the treatment of Stage T2A prostate cancers. In November 2000, the Company entered into a worldwide licensing agreement with Pfizer Inc. for the development and marketing of the reovirus for animal health applications. To find out more about Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (TSE: ONC - news), visit our website, at

This release contains certain forward-looking statements which involve known and unknown risks, delays, uncertainties and other factors not under the Company's control which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from the results, performance or expectations implied by these forward-looking statements.

     Oncolytics Biotech Inc.
     Matt Coffey, Ph.D., 403/283-0711
     403/283-0858  (FAX)
     Oncolytics Biotech Inc.
     Wayne Schnarr, Ph.D. MBA, 403/670-7374
     403/283-0858  (FAX)
     The Investor Relations Group
     Gino De Jesus / Dian Griesel, Ph.D., 212/825-3210
     212/825-3229  (FAX)

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