YM BIOSCIENCES ANNOUNCES NIMOTUZUMAB COLORECTAL CANCER TRIAL FIRST COHORT IS CLOSED TO ACCRUAL



    MISSISSAUGA, ON, Dec. 20 /CNW/ - YM BioSciences Inc. (AMEX:   YMI, TSX: YM,
AIM: YMBA), an oncology company that identifies, develops and commercializes
differentiated products for patients worldwide, today announced that it has
completed accrual in the first 50-patient cohort of its Phase II trial of
nimotuzumab in combination with irinotecan for the treatment of colorectal
cancer. The safety profile in the trial to date is consistent with data from
previous trials of nimotuzumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting the
epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), in that there has been no evidence of
the severe side effects frequently seen with currently approved EGFR-targeting
antibodies and small molecules.
    "We are pleased by the enthusiasm of the investigators that resulted in
rapid enrollment of this patient cohort and look forward to results from this
trial which could provide the evidence to advance nimotuzumab's further
development in one of the largest cancer patient populations," said David
Allan, Chairman and CEO of YM BioSciences. "Preliminary data on disease
control rates should be available toward the end of the first calendar quarter
of 2008. Since progression-free survival (PFS) in this patient population
historically approximates four months initial observations of nimotuzumab's
effect on PFS could be available shortly after the response data."
    The single-arm trial in Canada is currently designed to enroll 100
patients in two 50-patient cohorts, consecutively, with the first cohort
receiving irinotecan and weekly dosing of nimotuzumab and the second cohort
receiving irinotecan with nimotuzumab every two weeks. The endpoints of the
trial include the rate and duration of disease control (Stable Disease (SD)
and Objective Response Rate (ORR)), Progression Free Survival (PFS), and
Overall Survival (OS), as well as safety. The study's principal investigator
is Dr. Amil Shah at the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver. Twelve sites across
Canada are participating in the trial.

    About Nimotuzumab

    Nimotuzumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets the epidermal
growth factor receptor (EGFR). To date nimotuzumab has been administered to
more than 1,000 patients in more than a dozen clinical trials and on a
compassionate basis. It has been approved in several countries and has been
provided on a compassionate basis in certain countries including the US,
Canada, Germany, and Australia. The cumulative safety data for nimotuzumab
suggests a more benign side-effect profile compared to currently approved EGFR
targeting antibodies and small molecules. The absence of any cases of severe
rash to date and the rare instances of any of the other debilitating side
effects holds the prospect for nimotuzumab to become best-in-class for this
important family of EGFR-targeting agents.
    Nimotuzumab has been designated an Orphan Drug by the US FDA and by the
EMEA for glioma.

    YM Annual Statements

    YM's annual report (audited annual financial statements and MD&A) is
available for download from the YM BioSciences' website at
www.ymbiosciences.com or from the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com. Copies have
been mailed to all registered shareholders of the Company.

    About YM BioSciences

    YM BioSciences Inc. is an oncology company that identifies, develops and
commercializes differentiated products for patients worldwide. The Company has
two late-stage products: nimotuzumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody that
targets the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and is approved in several
countries for treatment of various types of head and neck cancer; and
AeroLEF(TM), a proprietary, inhaled-delivery composition of free and
liposome-encapsulated fentanyl in development for the treatment of moderate to
severe pain, including cancer pain.

    This press release may contain forward-looking statements, which reflect
the Company's current expectation regarding future events. These
forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause
actual results, events or developments to be materially different from any
future results, events or developments expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to,
changing market conditions, the successful and timely completion of clinical
studies, the establishment of corporate alliances, the impact of competitive
products and pricing, new product development, uncertainties related to the
regulatory approval process and other risks detailed from time to time in the
Company's ongoing quarterly and annual reporting. Certain of the assumptions
made in preparing forward-looking statements include but are not limited to
the following: that nimotuzumab will continue to demonstrate a competitive
safety profile in ongoing and future clinical trials; that AeroLEF(TM) will
continue to generate positive efficacy and safety data in future clinical
trials; and that YM and its various partners will complete their respective
clinical trials within the timelines communicated in this release. We
undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking
statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or
otherwise.

    %SEDAR: 00004652E




For further information:

For further information: Thomas Fechtner, the Trout Group LLC, Tel.
(646) 378-2931, Email: tfechtner@troutgroup.com; James Smith, the Equicom
Group Inc., Tel. (416) 815-0700 x 229, Email: jsmith@equicomgroup.com;
Nominated Adviser, Canaccord Adams Limited, Ryan Gaffney, Tel. +44 (0)20 7050
6500


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