|CALGARY, AB, --- July 18, 2006 - Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (“Oncolytics”) (TSX:ONC, NASDAQ:ONCY) announced today that it has received a letter of approval from the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for its Clinical Trial Application (CTA) to begin a Phase II clinical trial to evaluate the anti-tumour effects of intratumoural administration of REOLYSIN® in combination with low-dose radiation in patients with advanced cancers.
“Oncolytics will initiate this Phase II trial based on the promising safety and clinical responses observed in our Phase Ia REOLYSIN®/radiation trial,” said Dr. Brad Thompson, President and CEO of Oncolytics. “In the Phase Ia trial, partial tumour responses were observed in a number of patients and the product was well-tolerated.”
The trial is an open-label, single-arm, multi-centre Phase II study of REOLYSIN® delivered via intratumoural injection to patients during treatment with low-dose radiotherapy. Up to 40 evaluable patients, including approximately 20 patients with head and neck and esophageal cancers, and approximately 20 patients with other advanced cancers, will be treated with two intratumoural doses of REOLYSIN® at 1x1010 TCID50 with a constant localized radiation dose of 20 Gy in five consecutive daily fractions. Eligible patients include those who have been diagnosed with advanced or metastatic cancers including head, neck and esophageal tumours that are refractory (have not responded) to standard therapy or for which no curative standard therapy exists.
The primary objective of the trial is to assess the anti-tumour activity of the combination of REOLYSIN® and low dose radiotherapy in treated and untreated lesions. Secondary objectives include the evaluation of viral replication, immune response to the virus and to determine the safety and tolerability of intratumoural administration of REOLYSIN® in patients with advanced cancers who are receiving radiation treatment.
The Principal Investigators are: Dr. Kevin Harrington of the Targeted Therapy Laboratory, the Institute of Cancer Research, Cancer Research U.K. Centre for Cell and Molecular Biology and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Oncology at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust; Dr. Alan Melcher of the Cancer Research U.K. Clinical Centre at St. James’s University Hospital in Leeds; and Dr. Mark Saunders, consultant Clinical Oncologist at the Department of Clinical Oncology, Christie Hospital, Manchester. The trial will initially enroll patients at the Royal Marsden, St. James’s and Christie Hospitals in the U.K. and may also involve additional investigators and hospitals.
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 Phase I and Phase I/II human trials using REOLYSIN®, its proprietary formulation of the human reovirus, alone and in combination with radiation. 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 Company’s expectations related to the U.K. Phase II combination REOLYSIN®/radiation clinical trial, 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.
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Oncolytics Biotech Inc.
210, 1167 Kensington Cr NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1X7
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