OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals Announces OGX-011 Treatment Provides Survival Benefit in Randomized Phase 2 Trial in Advanced Metastatic Prostate Cancer



    Webcast at 7:10 p.m. Eastern Time Today

    BOTHELL, WA, and VANCOUVER, May 30 /CNW/ - OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals,
Inc. (NASDAQ:   OGXI) today announced the final results of a Randomized Phase 2
Trial presented during an oral presentation at the American Society of
Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting. Analyses indicated a survival benefit
in patients treated with OGX-011 in combination with docetaxel compared to
docetaxel alone - the current standard care for patients with advanced
prostate cancer:

    
    1)  The median overall survival in patients with advanced metastatic
        prostate cancer who were treated with OGX-011 plus docetaxel in a
        randomized Phase 2 trial was 23.8 months compared to 16.9 months for
        patients treated with docetaxel alone -- a 6.9 month observed
        survival advantage for the OGX-011 arm.

    2)  The unadjusted hazard ratio (HR), a measure used to compare the death
        rates between treatment groups, was 0.61, representing a 39% lower
        rate of death for patients treated with OGX-011.

    3)  A prospectively defined multivariate analysis indicated that the
        significant predictors of overall survival were treatment arm,
        performance status, and presence of metastases other than in bone or
        lymph nodes. Patients treated with OGX-011 had a rate of death 51%
        lower than patients treated with docetaxel alone (HR=0.49;
        p=0.012). Additional exploratory analyses found that the
        lower rate of death was associated with the effect of OGX-011
        treatment even when varying amounts of chemotherapy were administered
        (i.e. OGX-011 treatment resulted in a lower rate of death when
        compared to the control arm for patients receiving 6 or less cycles
        of chemotherapy as well as for patients receiving 10 cycles of
        chemotherapy).
    

    Data were presented by Dr. Kim Nguyen Chi, Principal Investigator and a
medical oncologist at BC Cancer Agency - Vancouver Centre, representing the
NCIC - Clinical Trials Group (NCIC-CTG). The survival curves presented by Dr.
Chi are available at www.oncogenex.com.
    "A 6.9 month median overall survival difference would represent a
significant improvement over the current standard docetaxel therapy," said Dr.
Chi, Principal Investigator of the NCIC-CTG sponsored trial and presenter of
the data at ASCO. "Docetaxel was approved in 2004 based on a 2.4 month
survival advantage in advanced prostate cancer. The consistent results in
favor of the OGX-011 treatment arm in this trial are a clear indication that
Phase 3 trials are warranted."
    "A 39% reduction in death, consistent with the previously disclosed
preliminary analysis, would be a significant advancement for treatment in this
patient population," said Scott Cormack, president and CEO of OncoGenex. "The
multivariate analysis shows an even greater reduction in death rate than our
preliminary data and increases our confidence that we are seeing a real and
meaningful survival benefit for patients treated with OGX-011 in this Phase 2
study."

    About the Randomized Phase 2 Trial and the Trial Results

    The trial enrolled 82 patients at 12 sites in Canada and the U.S. from
September 2005 to December 2006. Patients were randomized to one of two
treatment arms to receive either 640 mg per week of OGX-011 by intravenous
infusion in combination with docetaxel and prednisone or docetaxel and
prednisone alone. Patients in both treatment arms receive therapy until
disease progression, toxicity or after receiving ten 3-week cycles of therapy.
The primary endpoint of the trial was to achieve a 50% reduction in PSA from
baseline in over 50% of the patients treated with OGX-011 plus docetaxel.
Secondary endpoints included determining objective response and duration of
response in those patients with measurable disease at baseline, determining
the tolerability and toxicity of weekly OGX-011 and docetaxel when
administered in combination, measuring the effect of OGX-011 plus docetaxel or
docetaxel alone on serum clusterin levels and describing time to progression
and overall patient survival. Baseline characteristics were well balanced
between the treatment arms. In addition to the survival results presented and
based on a median follow-up of 32 months, data were presented as summarized
below.

    
    -   The OGX-011 plus docetaxel arm met the primary endpoint of the trial
        given that 58% of patients treated with OGX-011 plus docetaxel
        achieved confirmed PSA declines of 50% or greater.

    -   The median number of treatment cycles administered was 9 cycles in
        the OGX-011 plus docetaxel arm compared to 7 cycles in the docetaxel
        arm. The majority of patients either completed all 10 cycles of trial
        treatment (34 patients) or discontinued trial treatment based on
        disease progression (23 patients) or adverse events (14 patients).

    -   Fewer than half as many patients in the OGX-011 plus docetaxel arm
        (7 patients) discontinued trial treatment early for PSA progression
        and/or objective disease progression compared to the docetaxel arm
        (16 patients). Of the 9 patients in the OGX-011 arm that discontinued
        for adverse events, 7 of these patients experienced adverse events
        during the 8th and 9th treatment cycles.

    -   Evidence of a pharmacodynamic effect in the OGX-011 plus docetaxel
        arm was observed with statistically significant declines in serum
        clusterin levels within the first cycle of trial treatment when
        compared to levels in the docetaxel arm. OGX-011 has been shown to
        primarily target tissue clusterin levels with serum levels as an
        indicator of biological effect.

    -   Higher incidence of stable disease (20 patients in OGX-011 plus
        docetaxel arm versus 12 patients in docetaxel arm) with lower
        incidence of disease progression as best response (1 patient in OGX-
        011 plus docetaxel arm versus 4 patients in docetaxel arm) occurred
        in patients with measurable disease who were treated with OGX-011
        plus docetaxel compared to the docetaxel arm; although, the incidence
        of overall response was comparable.
    

    OGX-011 treatment was well tolerated in combination with docetaxel. There
was an increase in incidence of mild fever, chills and creatinine levels (a
laboratory measure for reduced kidney function) and a moderate to significant
decrease in circulating lymphocytes in the blood (another laboratory measure)
without any increase in infection rate compared to the docetaxel arm. The
investigators concluded that the combination was well tolerated.
    Brent Blumenstein, an independent statistician who conducted additional
sensitivity analyses of the results, found that the survival benefit in the
OGX-011 arm to be robust and not dependent on clinical trial sites or baseline
characteristics of the patients.
    "There is a clear separation of the survival curves," said Blumenstein.
"A hazard ratio of 0.61 indicates a distinct difference in survival rates and
fully justifies further Phase 3 trials. It is rare for a new intervention at
this stage of development to have such strong data from a randomized clinical
trial."
    Cormack added, "These data clearly justify advancing to Phase 3
development, and we expect these data will be key in our partnering
discussions for future clinical development and potential commercialization."
    The trial was supported by funding from the Canadian Cancer Society and
was conducted by the NCIC Clinical Trials Group (NCIC CTG) based at Queen's
University in Kingston, Ontario. The trial was further supported by an
unrestricted grant from Sanofi-Aventis.

    Webcast and Conference Call Today

    OncoGenex will hold a live webcast and conference call of presentations
made at a Company hosted reception during the 2009 American Society of
Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting (ASCO) today, May 30, 2009. The webcast will
begin at 7:10 p.m. EDT.
    During the reception, OncoGenex management and guest speakers will
provide a comprehensive review of the final results of the randomized Phase 2
trial presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting, as well as discuss the treatment
landscape and the relevance of clinical trial endpoints for prostate cancer.
    To access the webcast, log on to the Investor Relations page of the
OncoGenex Web site at www.oncogenex.com. Alternatively, you may access the
live conference call by dialing 877-627-6544 (U.S. & Canada) or 719-325-4857
(International). A webcast replay will be available approximately two hours
after the call and will be archived at www.oncogenex.com.

    About OGX-011

    OGX-011 is designed to inhibit the production of clusterin, a protein
that is associated with cancer treatment resistance and is currently being
evaluated in Phase 2 clinical trials in prostate, lung and breast cancer. At
the 2009 American Urological Association Annual Meeting, OncoGenex reported
Phase 2 data with OGX-011 in combination with second-line treatment of
metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer showing better than expected
survival results, reductions in levels of clusterin, durable reductions in
pain, and a decline in PSA, a protein that is often elevated in patients with
prostate cancer.
    Based on clinical results to date, OncoGenex intends to conduct Phase 3
registration trials with OGX-011 in metastatic castrate resistant prostate
cancer, subject to the receipt of additional funding. The U.S. Food & Drug
Administration (FDA) has agreed on the design of two Phase 3 registration
trials, via the Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) process, of OGX-011 in
combination with second-line chemotherapy. One trial design investigates
overall survival as the primary endpoint; the other trial design investigates
pain palliation as the primary endpoint. Based on the survival benefit
observed after combining OGX-011 with first-line docetaxel chemotherapy,
OncoGenex has initiated discussions with the FDA regarding evaluating the
overall survival benefit in patients treated with first-line chemotherapy,
rather than second-line chemotherapy.
    OGX-011 has received Fast Track designation from the FDA for the
treatment of progressive metastatic prostate cancer in combination with
docetaxel.

    About OncoGenex

    OncoGenex is a biopharmaceutical company committed to the development and
commercialization of new therapies that address unmet needs in the treatment
of cancer. OncoGenex has a deep oncology pipeline, with each product candidate
having a distinct mechanism of action and representing a unique opportunity
for cancer drug development. OGX-011, the lead candidate currently completing
five Phase 2 clinical trials in prostate, lung and breast cancers, is designed
to inhibit the production of a specific protein associated with treatment
resistance; OGX-427 is in Phase 1 clinical development; SN2310 has completed
the Phase 1 clinical trial; and CSP-9222 and OGX-225 are currently in
pre-clinical development.
    OGX-011, OGX-427 and OGX-225 utilize second-generation antisense
technology, licensed from Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:   ISIS), to effectively
target and inhibit production of specific proteins in tumor cells. OncoGenex
and Isis partnered in the successful discovery of OGX-011, OGX-427 and OGX-225
and with respect to OGX-011, in its initial development. In 2008, OncoGenex
and Isis amended their OGX-011 agreement to provide OncoGenex with sole rights
to OGX-011 and sole responsibility for development and related costs and
partnering decisions, subject to financial obligations to Isis. OncoGenex is
also solely responsible for development and related costs and partnering
decisions regarding OGX-427 and OGX-225. Key intellectual property related to
OGX-011, OGX-427 and OGX-225 were discovered by the University of British
Columbia and the Vancouver Prostate Centre, and were exclusively licensed to
OncoGenex.
    More information about OncoGenex is available at www.oncogenex.com.

    This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning
of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform
Act of 1995, including statements concerning the potential survival benefit of
OGX-011, anticipated clinical development activities, timing of these
activities, the ability of future trials to demonstrate clinical benefit and
the potential for regulatory approvals. All statements other than statements
of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking
statements. These statements are based on management's current expectations
and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and
assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
described in the forward-looking statements.
    The potential risks and uncertainties associated with forward-looking
statements include, among others, the possibility that any benefit in patient
survival will not be maintained or will become less substantial as patient
survival follow up continues, risks that clinical trials will not be
successful or confirm earlier clinical trial results, including the risk that
the survival benefit will not be confirmed by a Phase 3 clinical trial, risks
associated with obtaining funding from third parties or completing a financing
necessary to support the costs and expenses of a Phase 3 clinical trial, the
timing and costs of clinical trials and regulatory approvals will be different
than management currently anticipates, risks relating to the development,
safety and efficacy of therapeutic drugs and potential applications for these
products and the risk factors set forth in the Company's filings with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's Annual Report on
Form 10-K for fiscal year 2008. The Company undertakes no obligation to update
the forward-looking statements contained herein or to reflect events or
circumstances occurring after the date hereof.





For further information:

For further information: OncoGenex Contact: Scott Cormack, President &
CEO, (604) 736-3678, scormack@oncogenex.com; Media and Investor Contact: Jason
Spark, Porter Novelli Life Sciences, (619) 849-6005,
jspark@pnlifesciences.com


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890