OncoGenex Reports First Quarter Financial Results



    Conference Call on Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time

    BOTHELL, WA, and VANCOUVER, May 7 /CNW/ - OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
("OncoGenex" or the "Company") (NASDAQ:   OGXI) today reported unaudited
financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2009 and reviewed the
Company's highlights for the first quarter of 2009.
    The following consolidated results reflect the operations of OncoGenex
Technologies Inc. ("OncoGenex Technologies") prior to the August 21, 2008
reverse takeover of Sonus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Sonus"), and the
consolidated results of OncoGenex thereafter.
    The loss attributable to common shareholders for the first quarter ended
March 31, 2009 was $2.4 million which was consistent with the loss of $2.4
million in the corresponding period of 2008.
    Research and development expenses for the first quarter ended March 31,
2009 were $1.7 million, compared to $0.9 million in the corresponding period
of 2008. The increases in 2009 were primarily due to manufacturing costs
incurred in the first quarter of 2009 associated with the development of our
product candidate OGX-427, an increase in employee expenses and higher
facility costs resulting from the reverse takeover of Sonus. Reducing the
expenses in the first quarter of 2008 was a Scientific Research and
Development (SRED) claim, which offset R&D expenses in that period. The SRED
program is a Canadian federal tax incentive program that encourages Canadian
businesses to conduct research and development in Canada. As OncoGenex
Technologies became an affiliate of a public company as a result of the
reverse takeover, SRED claims can now only be applied against taxes payable.
    General and administrative expenses for the first quarter ended March 31,
2009 were $0.8 million, compared to $0.6 million in the corresponding period
of 2008. The increase for the first quarter of 2009 was primarily due to
increased employee expenses and increased costs associated with operating as a
public company. The first quarter of 2008 also included $0.8 million in
preferred share accretion, a non-cash item, which did not recur in the first
quarter of 2009, as subsequent to the reverse takeover there are no longer any
preferred shares outstanding.
    The Company had $9.4 million in cash and cash equivalents as of March 31,
2009, compared to $12.4 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term
investments as of December 31, 2008. The Company believes that its cash, cash
equivalents and short-term investments will be sufficient to fund its
currently planned operations through February 2010. The Company had 5,549,905
shares outstanding as at May 3, 2009.
    "This is an exciting time for OncoGenex as we continue to progress on our
clinical, regulatory and commercial objectives for 2009," said Scott Cormack,
President and Chief Executive Officer of OncoGenex. "The final comprehensive
survival analysis from the randomized Phase 2 clinical trial which compared
OGX-011 in combination with docetaxel and prednisone to docetaxel and
prednisone alone for first-line treatment of metastatic castrate resistant
prostate cancer will be featured during an oral presentation at the American
Society of Oncology 2009 Annual Meeting. The oral presentation will update the
preliminary survival data that was released in December 2008 that indicated
that patients in the OGX-011 treatment group had a rate of death approximately
40% lower than patients receiving chemotherapy without OGX-011. A second oral
presentation at the ASCO 2009 Annual Meeting will feature preliminary data
from our ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating OGX-427 in patients with
solid tumors."
    Cormack added, "In relation to our Phase 3 regulatory strategy, we have
now received confirmations on two separate Phase 3 trial designs from the FDA
via the Special Protocol Assessment process, each in second-line treatment of
advanced prostate cancer, featuring either survival or pain palliation as the
primary endpoint. We believe these SPA agreements with the FDA together with
our Phase 2 survival data position OGX-011 as an attractive asset. These
regulatory achievements along with recent clinical data have supported our
discussions with potential development and commercialization partners."

    Conference Call Today at 4:30 p.m. ET

    OncoGenex management will host a conference call at 4:30 p.m. Eastern
Time today to provide a business update and discuss the first quarter results.
A live webcast will be available through the Events and Presentations Web page
found in the Investor Relations section of the OncoGenex Web site at
www.ir.oncogenex.com. Alternatively, you may access the live conference call
by dialing 800-967-7143 (U.S. & Canada) or 719-325-2413 (International). A
webcast replay will be available approximately two hours after the call and
will be archived at the same Web location for 90 days.

    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 studies 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. 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 Company's key objectives for
2009, and other anticipated activities, achievements, occurrences and
performance. 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. All statements other than
statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed
forward-looking statements.
    The potential risks and uncertainties associated with forward-looking
statements include, among others, the timing and costs of clinical trials and
regulatory approvals, risks that clinical trials will not be successful or
confirm earlier or interim clinical trial results, the Company's need for
additional financing, the uncertainty associated with any potential partnering
discussions, 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 its Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal year 2008 and
its Quarterly Report for the first quarter of 2009 on Form 10-Q. No assurances
can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking
statements will transpire or occur, or that if any of them do transpire or
occur, what impact they would have on the results of operations or financial
condition of the Company. The Company undertakes no obligation to update the
forward-looking statements contained herein or to reflect events or
circumstances occurring after the date hereof.



    
    Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
    (in thousands)

                                                            Three months
                                                           Ended March 31,

                                                        2009         2008
                                                     (unaudited)  (unaudited)

    Operating expenses
      Research and development                        $  1,694      $    874
      General and administrative                           782           573
                                                    -------------------------
    Total operating expenses                             2,476         1,447
    Other income (expense)                                  57             4
    Loss for the period before taxes                     2,419         1,443
      Income tax expense (recovery)                        (10)          214
    Net loss                                             2,409         1,657
      Redeemable convertible
       preferred share accretion                             -           776
                                                    -------------------------
    Loss attributable to common shareholders          $  2,409      $  2,433



    Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
    (in thousands)
                                                      March 31,  December 31,
                                                        2009         2008
                                                     (unaudited)
    Assets:
      Cash, cash equivalents and
       short term investments                          $  9,393     $ 12,419
      Amounts and investment tax credit receivable          515        1,243
      Prepaid and other current assets                      631          587
      Property, equipment and other assets                  558          541
                                                    -------------------------
    Total assets                                       $ 11,097     $ 14,790
                                                    -------------------------
                                                    -------------------------

    Liabilities and stockholders' equity:
      Accounts payable and accrued expenses            $  1,122     $  2,252
      Other current liabilities                             361          632
      Long term liabilities                               1,219        1,199
      Stockholders' equity (deficiency)                   8,395       10,707
                                                    -------------------------
    Total liabilities and stockholders'
     equity (deficiency)                               $ 11,097     $ 14,790
                                                    -------------------------
                                                    -------------------------
    





For further information:

For further information: OncoGenex Contact: Scott Cormack, President &
CEO, (604) 630-5400, scormack@oncogenex.com; Media and Investor Contact: Jason
Spark, Porter Novelli Life Sciences, (619) 849-6005,
jspark@pnlifesciences.com


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