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Oncolytics Biotech Inc. Announces Publication of Research on Immune Response to REOLYSIN(R) during a Phase I Clinical Trial

CALGARY, March 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (TSX: ONC, NASDAQ: ONCY) ('Oncolytics') reported today that Dr. Kevin Harrington and his research group at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, U.K. published the results of their work characterizing immune system responses to administration of intravenous REOLYSIN(R) in a Phase I clinical trial. The paper, entitled "Characterization of the Adaptive and Innate Immune Response to Intravenous Oncolytic Reovirus (Dearing Type 3) during a Phase I Clinical Trial" appears online in the March 6, 2008 issue of Gene Therapy.

"This important work further defines the relationship between viral therapy and human immune response, and supports the development of our ongoing Phase II clinical trial program," said Dr. Brad Thompson, President and CEO of Oncolytics.

The investigators conducted a detailed analysis of the immune effects of intravenous viral therapy by collecting and analyzing immune response to the presence of the virus. The results suggest that reovirus may stimulate the immune system to mount a dynamic immune response to the presence of virus, increasing the potential to significantly enhance the efficacy of oncolytic virotherapy. About a third of those patients also showed increases in NK (natural killer) cells following therapy. The data support the development of interventions aimed at blunting the patient's immune response, although preclinical data also suggest that maintaining a baseline level is necessary to restrict systemic spread/toxicity of the virus.

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

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 implication of the materials presented in "Gene Therapy" with respect to REOLYSIN(R), the Company's expectations related to the results of trials investigating delivery of REOLYSIN(R), and the Company's belief as to the potential of REOLYSIN(R) 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(R) as a cancer treatment, the success and timely completion of clinical studies and trials, the Company's ability to successfully commercialize REOLYSIN(R), 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.

SOURCE Oncolytics Biotech Inc.
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