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Oncolytics Biotech(R) Inc. Reports Highlights and Financial Results for 2008
Date:3/4/2009

CALGARY, March 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (TSX:ONC, NASDAQ: ONCY) ("Oncolytics" or the "Company") today reported its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2008.

"In 2008, we selected our first pivotal program for REOLYSIN(R)," said Dr. Brad Thompson, President and CEO of Oncolytics. "The selection of head and neck cancers was supported by interim results reported in our US and UK clinical studies, and the successful development of a manufacturing process capable of supplying REOLYSIN for large clinical studies."

    Selected Highlights:

    Clinical Trial Results
    ----------------------

    -   Announced positive interim results from our Phase I/II UK combination
        REOLYSIN and carboplatin/paclitaxel trial. Of 14 patients evaluable
        for response, four had partial responses and five patients had stable
        disease. Of note, all partial responses and 4/5 stable diseases were
        in head and neck disease;

    -   Announced positive interim results from our UK combination REOLYSIN
        and docetaxel trial. Of the 11 patients evaluable for response, five
        had partial or minor responses, and six patients had stable disease;
        and

    -   Exceeded the primary statistical endpoint in our US multicentre,
        Phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate the intravenous administration of
        REOLYSIN in patients with various sarcomas that had metastasized to
        the lung. We reported that of 33 patients evaluable for response,
        five had stable disease for more than six months, and an additional
        10 patients had stable disease ranging from 3-6 cycles
        (cycle = 28 days).

    Clinical Trial Progress
    -----------------------

    -   Selection of first pivotal program using REOLYSIN in combination with
        paclitaxel and carboplatin for patients with platinum-failed head &
        neck cancers;

    -   Start of patient enrolment in five new trials:
        -  NCI-sponsored Phase I/II systemic and peritoneal administration
           trial in patients with ovarian, peritoneal and fallopian tube
           cancers;
        -  NCI-sponsored Phase II systemic administration trial in patients
           with metastatic melanoma;
        -  UK Phase II REOLYSIN/paclitaxel/carboplatin trial for patients
           with refractory head and neck cancers;
        -  US Phase II REOLYSIN/paclitaxel/carboplatin trial for patients
           with refractory head and neck cancers;
        -  UK Phase I REOLYSIN/cyclophosphamide trial;

    -   Approval for a US Phase II REOLYSIN/paclitaxel/carboplatin trial for
        Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer patients with K-RAS or EGFR-activated
        tumours;

    -   Completion of patient enrolment in two trials:
        -  UK Phase II local administration REOLYSIN and radiation trial for
           patients with various advanced cancers, including head & neck;
        -  UK REOLYSIN and docetaxel clinical trial;

    -   In early 2009, start of patient enrolment in a University of
        Leeds-sponsored translational clinical trial examining REOLYSIN in
        patients with metastatic colorectal cancer; and

    -   In early 2009, Oncolytics and the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at
        The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, (CTRC
        at UTHSCSA) announced a broad preclinical and clinical collaboration
        involving up to five, open-label, Phase II studies exploring the use
        of REOLYSIN in combination with chemotherapy for various cancer
        indications.

    Manufacturing
    -------------

    -   Successfully transferred cGMP manufacturing process for REOLYSIN at
        the 40L scale and completed initial scale up of manufacturing process
        for REOLYSIN to commercial scale.

    Financial and Intellectual Property
    -----------------------------------

    -   In December, Oncolytics closed a public offering that added a net
        $3.4 million to Oncolytics' financial reserves, bringing the total to
        $13.3 million in cash and equivalents at December 31, 2008; and,

    -   Secured five U.S. and three Canadian patents in 2008. Currently more
        than 200 patents have been issued worldwide, including 31 US and
        9 Canadian.

    "We are greatly encouraged by the clinical results we are seeing in our
clinical trials, and by the continued enthusiasm displayed by our
collaborators," said Dr. Thompson. "We look forward to taking REOLYSIN into to
the final stages of development in 2009."


                           Oncolytics Biotech Inc.

                         CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

    As at December 31

                                                     2008           2007
                                                       $              $
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ASSETS
    Current
    Cash and cash equivalents                       7,429,895      6,715,096
    Short-term investments                          5,846,634     18,498,733
    Accounts receivable                                86,322         80,085
    Prepaid expenses                                  179,668        260,300
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   13,542,519     25,554,214

    Property and equipment                            263,926        201,103

    Intellectual property                             180,750        542,250
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                   13,987,195     26,297,567
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY
    Current
    Accounts payable and accrued liabilities        4,534,111      2,821,227
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Commitments and contingency

    Shareholders' equity
    Share capital
      Authorized: unlimited
      Issued: 43,830,748 (2006 - 41,180,748)       95,234,924     92,759,665
    Warrants                                        3,425,110      5,346,260
    Contributed surplus                            13,349,801     10,376,962
    Deficit                                      (102,556,751)   (85,006,547)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    9,453,084     23,476,340
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                   13,987,195     26,297,567
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------



                           Oncolytics Biotech Inc.

            CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF LOSS AND COMPREHESIVE LOSS

    For the periods ended December 31

                                                                Cumulative
                                                              from inception
                                                                 on April 2,
                                                                  1998 to
                                                                December 31,
                       2008           2007           2006           2008
                         $              $              $              $
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Revenue
    Rights revenue            -              -              -        310,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              -              -              -        310,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Expenses
    Research and
     development     13,351,875     12,385,743     11,378,998     74,531,777
    Operating         4,311,575      3,826,195      3,630,144     24,837,025
    Stock based
     compensation        64,039        539,156        403,550      4,768,844
    Foreign exchange
     (gain) loss        (68,283)         8,862         35,270        589,427
    Amortization -
     intellectual
     property           361,500        361,500        361,500      3,434,250
    Amortization -
     property and
     equipment           48,754         40,714         52,638        497,151
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     18,069,460     17,162,170     15,862,100    108,658,474
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Loss before the
     following       18,069,460     17,162,170     15,862,100    108,348,474

    Interest income    (519,256)    (1,211,744)    (1,233,809)    (6,534,005)

    Gain on sale of
     BCY LifeSciences
     Inc.                     -              -              -       (299,403)

    Loss on sale
     of Transition
     Therapeutics Inc.        -              -              -      2,156,685
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Loss before
     income taxes    17,550,204     15,950,426     14,628,291    103,671,751

    Future income
     tax recovery             -              -              -     (1,115,000)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Net loss and
     comprehensive
     loss for the
     period          17,550,204     15,950,426     14,628,291    102,556,751
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basic and
     diluted loss
     per share            (0.42)         (0.39)         (0.40)
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    -----------------------------------------------------------



                           Oncolytics Biotech Inc.

                    CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

    For the periods ended December 31

                                                                Cumulative
                                                              from inception
                                                                 on April 2,
                                                                  1998 to
                                                                December 31,
                       2008           2007           2006           2008
                         $              $              $              $
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OPERATING
     ACTIVITIES

    Net loss and
     comprehensive
     loss for the
     period         (17,550,204)   (15,950,426)   (14,628,291)  (102,556,751)
    Add/(deduct)
     non-cash items
      Amortization
       - intellectual
       property         361,500        361,500        361,500      3,434,250
      Amortization
       - property
       and equipment     48,754         40,714         52,638        497,151
      Stock based
       compensation      64,039        539,156        403,550      4,768,844
      Other
       non-cash items         -              -              -      1,383,537
    Net change in
     non-cash
     working capital  1,787,279        586,964        812,622      4,268,121
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cash used in
     operating
     activities     (15,288,632)   (14,422,092)   (12,997,981)   (88,204,848)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    INVESTING
     ACTIVITIES
    Acquisition of
     property and
     equipment         (111,577)       (92,221)       (35,838)      (813,744)
    Purchase of
     short-term
     investments       (347,901)      (949,496)    (1,035,427)   (49,416,864)
    Redemption of
     short-term
     investments     13,000,000      6,573,000     13,808,000     43,151,746
    Investment in
     BCY LifeSciences
     Inc.                     -              -              -        464,602
    Investment in
     Transition
     Therapeutics Inc.        -              -              -      2,532,343
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cash provided by
     (used in)
     investing
     activities      12,540,522      5,531,283     12,736,735     (4,081,917)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FINANCING
     ACTIVITIES
    Proceeds from
     exercise of
     stock options
     and warrants        41,600         51,000        241,400     15,301,068
    Proceeds from
     private
     placements               -              -              -     38,137,385
    Proceeds from
     public
     offerings        3,421,309     12,063,394              -     46,278,207
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cash provided
     by financing
     activities       3,462,909     12,114,394        241,400     99,716,660
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Net increase
     (decrease) in
     cash and cash
     equivalents
     during the
     period             714,799      3,223,585        (19,846)     7,429,895

    Cash and cash
     equivalents,
     beginning of
     period           6,715,096      3,491,511      3,511,357              -
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Cash and cash
     equivalents,
     end of period    7,429,895      6,715,096      3,491,511      7,429,895
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Cash interest
     received           769,529      1,392,866        940,100
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

To view the Company's Financial Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis, please see the Company's 2008 Annual Filings which will be available on www.sedar.com and www.oncolyticsbiotech.com.

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/II and Phase II human trials using REOLYSIN(R), its proprietary formulation of the human reovirus, alone and in combination with radiation or chemotherapy. 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 and under applicable Canadian provincial securities legislation. Forward-looking statements, including the Company's belief as to the potential of REOLYSIN as a cancer therapeutic; the Company's expectations as to the success of its research and development programs in 2009 and beyond, the value of the additional patents and intellectual property; the Company's expectations related to the applications of the patented technology; the Company's expectations as to adequacy of its existing capital resources; the design, timing, success of planned clinical trial programs and the Company's planned expansion of such programs; and other statements related to anticipated developments in the Company's business and technologies 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 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, uncertainties related to the regulatory process and general changes to the economic environment. 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.


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