Biomira selects PX-866 as clinical development candidate and presents promising preclinical data at AACR

    -IND filing expected by end of 2007-

    EDMONTON, April 16 /CNW/ - Biomira Inc. (Nasdaq:   BIOM) (TSX: BRA) today
announced that it has selected PX-866 as its next clinical development
candidate. PX-866 is an inhibitor of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3
kinase)/ PTEN/AKT pathway, an important survival signaling pathway that is
activated in many types of human cancer, including glioblastoma. Preclinical
data presented this past weekend at the American Association of Cancer
Research (AACR) annual meeting demonstrate that PX-866 has activity in an
intracranial model of glioma.
    "The preclinical data for PX-866, including those presented at AACR, are
very promising and warrant advancing this small molecule compound to clinical
development," said Robert L. Kirkman, M.D., President and Chief Executive
Officer of Biomira. "The data presented this weekend are particularly
compelling, as they provide evidence of PX-866 activity in an intracranial
model of glioma, a disease that accounts for 77 percent of all malignant brain
cancers and is refractory to conventional therapies. We are in the process of
completing preclinical studies designed to support the expected filing of an
investigational new drug (IND) application for PX-866 later this year.
Expanding and advancing our clinical pipeline is a key priority for Biomira,
and we are on track to have four programs in clinical development by the end
of 2007."
    Preclinical data presented at AACR by Dr. Dimpy Koul of The University of
Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) (Abstract No.278) showed that
PX-866 treatment resulted in growth inhibition in three different glioma cell
lines. The magnitude of the inhibition depended on the status of PTEN in the
cell lines, with PTEN-negative cells showing greater sensitivity to PX-866.
Treatment with PX-866 inhibited activation of AKT and other downstream targets
of PI3K. A dose-dependent increase in autophagy, a type of programmed cell
death, was observed and PX-866 also inhibited invasive and angiogenic
capabilities of cultured glioma cells. In animals, PX-866 inhibited
subcutaneous tumor growth by 84 percent after 4 weeks of oral dosing and
increased median survival of animals with intracranial tumors. The authors
conclude that PX-866 is a highly promising PI3 kinase inhibitor in
glioblastomas and other tumors with aberrant PTEN/PI3K expression, which
include advanced ovarian, breast and prostate cancers, as well as lung and
head and neck cancers.
    Dr. Koul and colleagues at MDACC conducted the studies in collaboration
with Dr. Lynn Kirkpatrick, Biomira's Chief Scientific Officer, under a grant
from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

    About PX-866
    PX-866 is an inhibitor of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3
kinase)/PTEN/AKT pathway, an important survival signaling pathway that is
activated in many types of human cancer. PI3 kinase is overexpressed in a
number of human cancers, especially ovarian, colon, head and neck, urinary
tract, and cervical cancers, where it leads to increased proliferation and
inhibition of apoptosis (programmed cell death). In preclinical studies,
PX-866 has been shown to induce prolonged inhibition of tumor PI3 kinase
signaling following both oral and intravenous administration. The compound
also has been shown to have good in vivo anti-tumor activity in tumor models
of human ovarian and lung cancer, as well as intracranial glioblastoma.

    About Biomira
    Biomira is a biotechnology company specializing in the development of
innovative therapeutic products for the treatment of cancer. Biomira's goal is
to develop and commercialize novel synthetic vaccines and targeted small
molecules that have the potential to improve the lives and outcomes of cancer

    Forward-Looking Statements
    This press release contains forward-looking statements, including,
without limitation, statements related to the pre-clinical and clinical
development of PX-866; the therapeutic and commercial potential of PX-866; the
filing of an investigational new drug application for PX-866 and the timing
thereof; and future clinical development plans. Any statements contained in
this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to
be forward-looking statements. Words such as "believes", "anticipates",
"plans", "expects", "will", "intends", "potential", "possible" and similar
expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These
forward-looking statements are based upon Biomira's current expectations.
Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Various factors
could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in
forward-looking statements, including those predicting the clinical
development of PX-866; the therapeutic and commercial potential of PX-866; the
filing of an investigational new drug application for PX-866 and the timing
thereof, and future clinical development plans. There can be no guarantee that
the results of earlier trials will be predictive of either safety or efficacy
in future trials. Biomira expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to
release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements
contained herein to reflect any change in the Company's expectations with
regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which
any such statements are based.

For further information:

For further information: Investor and Media Relations Contact: Stephanie
Seiler, Ph.D., Gemini BioProjects LLC, (206) 713-0124,

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