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Oncolytics Biotech(R) Inc. Reaches Special Protocol Assessment Agreement with the FDA on Design of Phase 3 Trial for REOLYSIN(R) in Head and Neck Cancers
Date:10/2/2009

--Company to Host Conference Call--

CALGARY, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Oncolytics Biotech Inc. ("Oncolytics") (TSX:ONC, NASDAQ:ONCY) today announced that it has reached an agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) process for the design of a Phase 3 trial examining REOLYSIN in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin in patients with platinum-refractory head and neck cancers. The SPA is an agreement between Oncolytics and the FDA that the design and planned analyses of the Phase 3 study is adequately designed to provide the necessary data, that depending upon outcome, could support a license application submission for REOLYSIN.

"Oncolytics is the first company to reach an agreement with the FDA on a Phase 3 trial design for an intravenously-administered oncolytic virus under the SPA process," said Dr. Brad Thompson, President and CEO of Oncolytics. "This is an exciting step forward for our clinical program for REOLYSIN, which has become a first-in-class agent. A Phase 3 trial in patients with platinum-refractory head and neck cancers is a logical choice for our first pivotal trial with REOLYSIN. In Phase 1/2 trials, the treatment combination has increased the response rate by several-fold compared to historical outcomes."

As specified in the SPA, 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
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