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Oncolytics Biotech® Receives MHRA Approval to Conduct Phase 3 Trial for REOLYSIN®

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Oncolytics Biotech® Receives MHRA Approval to Conduct Phase 3 Trial for REOLYSIN®

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Oncolytics Biotech Inc. has 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.

The Company previously reached an agreement on with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the same trial 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 European markets."

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 3x1010 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.
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