Oncolytics Biotech(R) Inc. Receives Approval from the U.K. MHRA to Conduct Phase 3 Trial for REOLYSIN(R) in Head and Neck CancersBy Oncolytics Biotech Inc., PRNE
Monday, February 15, 2010
Company to Host Clinical Update Conference Call
CALGARY, Canada, February 16, 2010 - Oncolytics Biotech Inc. ("Oncolytics") (TSX:ONC, NASDAQ:ONCY) today
announced that it has received a letter of approval from the U.K. Medicines
and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to conduct its Phase 3 trial
examining REOLYSIN in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin in patients
with platinum-refractory head and neck cancers. This is the same trial that
the Company previously reached an agreement on with the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) under the Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) process.
"Receipt of this approval clears the way for final preparations at the
participating centres in anticipation of the start of enrolment in this trial
and we expect to provide an update on timing in the near future," said Dr.
Brad Thompson, President and CEO of Oncolytics. "Conducting this trial in
both the U.S. and Europe allows us to access many of the physicians that have
worked with REOLYSIN previously and, if the trial is successful, provides us
with the basis for regulatory submissions in both the key American and
As previously disclosed, the randomized, two-arm, double-blind,
multicentre, two-stage, adaptive Phase 3 trial will assess the intravenous
administration of REOLYSIN with the chemotherapy combination of paclitaxel
and carboplatin versus the chemotherapy alone in patients with metastatic or
recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, or squamous cell
cancer of the nasopharynx, who have progressed on or after prior platinum-
based chemotherapy. All patients will receive treatment every three weeks (21
day cycles) with paclitaxel and carboplatin and will also receive, on a
blinded basis, either intravenous placebo or intravenous REOLYSIN. All dosing
takes place in the first five days of each cycle with all patients receiving
standard intravenous doses of paclitaxel and carboplatin on day one only, and
on days one through five, either intravenous placebo or intravenous REOLYSIN
at a dose of 3×1010 TCID50. Patients may continue to receive the trial
combination therapy for up to eight, 21-day cycles and, thereafter, blinded
placebo or blinded REOLYSIN until the patient has progressive disease or
meets other criteria for removal from the trial. Oncolytics intends to
conduct the first stage of the trial at approximately 25 centres in the U.S.,
U.K., and Belgium.
The primary endpoint for the trial is overall survival (OS); secondary
endpoints include progression free survival (PFS), objective response rate
(complete response (CR) + partial response (PR)) and duration of response,
and safety and tolerability of REOLYSIN when administered in combination with
paclitaxel and carboplatin. The first stage of the trial is designed to
enroll 80 patients. The second stage is adaptive, and is designed to enroll
between 100 and 400 patients with the most probable statistical enrolment
being 195 patients in this stage. This adaptive trial design allows frequent
data evaluation to determine if the probability of reaching a statistically
significant endpoint has been achieved.
The decision to pursue a Phase 3 trial in head and neck cancers was
predicated on positive results seen in the Company's U.K. Phase 1 and Phase 2
combination REOLYSIN and paclitaxel/carboplatin clinical trials, as well as
significant preclinical work demonstrating synergy in combination with taxane
or platinum-based drugs. Updated results from the U.K. Phase 1/2 trial
reported in November 2009 demonstrated an overall response rate (PR and CR)
of 42% and a total clinical benefit rate (PR + CR + stable disease) of 74%.
The Company is currently conducting a confirmatory Phase 2 trial in the U.S.
in patients with advanced head and neck cancers.
Conference Call Details
Dr. Brad Thompson, President and CEO of Oncolytics, will host a
conference call and webcast today, February 16th, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. MT (4:00
p.m. ET) to update investors on the Company's ongoing clinical program for
REOLYSIN. To access the conference call by telephone, dial 1-647-427-7450 or
1-888-231-8191. A live audio webcast will also be available at the following
link: www.newswire.ca/en/webcast/viewEvent.cgi?eventID=2967140 or
through the Company's website at www.oncolyticsbiotech.com.
Please connect at least 15 minutes prior to the webcast to ensure adequate
time for any software download that may be needed. A replay of the webcast
will be available at www.oncolyticsbiotech.com and will also be
available by telephone through February 23rd, 2010. To access the telephone
replay, dial 1-416-849-0833 or 1-800-642-1687 and enter reservation number
57104101 followed by the number sign.
REOLYSIN is a proprietary formulation of the human reovirus that acts
primarily as a direct cytotoxic agent. Reovirus is naturally occurring (not
genetically engineered) and has been demonstrated to replicate specifically
in tumour cells bearing an activated Ras pathway, leaving healthy normal
cells intact. At least two thirds of carcinomas and more than 90% of
metastatic disease has Ras involvement.
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 Company's expectations related to
the MHRA's approval of a Phase 3 combination REOLYSIN and
paclitaxel/carboplatin trial for patients with platinum-refractory head and
neck cancers, the planned timing and implementation of the Phase 3 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, except
as required by applicable laws.
For further information: The Equicom Group, Nick Hurst, 300 5th Ave. SW,
10th Floor, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 3C4, Tel: +1-403-218-2835,
Fax: +1-403-218-2830, email@example.com; The Investor Relations Group,
Erika Moran, 11 Stone St, 3rd Floor, New York, NY, 10004,
Tel: +1-212-825-3210, Fax: +1-212-825-3229,
For further information: The Equicom Group, Nick Hurst, 300 5th Ave. SW, 10th Floor, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 3C4, Tel: +1-403-218-2835, Fax: +1-403-218-2830, nhurst at equicomgroup.com; The Investor Relations Group, Erika Moran, 11 Stone St, 3rd Floor, New York, NY, 10004, Tel: +1-212-825-3210, Fax: +1-212-825-3229, emoran at investorrelationsgroup.com
Tags: Calgary, canada, February 16, Oncolytics Biotech Inc.