OncoGenex increases economic interest in lead cancer drug OGX-011

    VANCOUVER, July 3 /CNW/ - OncoGenex Technologies Inc. and Isis
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:   ISIS) announced today that the companies have
amended their agreement and OncoGenex has elected to independently develop its
lead cancer drug OGX-011. Under the amended agreement, OncoGenex is solely
responsible for all future development activities, costs and partnering
decisions related to OGX-011. Isis will no longer be responsible for funding
35% of development costs, will receive single digit royalties on future
revenues of OGX-011, and will receive a portion of license fees and milestone
payments received by OncoGenex from any future partner. There were no upfront
payments associated with this amended agreement.
    "This amendment allows us to increase our economic interest in OGX-011 as
we advance the development of OGX-011 while also increasing our flexibility to
further develop this product candidate," said Scott Cormack, President and CEO
of OncoGenex. "In addition, we believe this new arrangement facilitates future
partnering discussions since potential development and commercialization
partners need only deal with one party."
    "This amended agreement with OncoGenex is consistent with our strategy to
remain focused on discovering and developing drugs and licensing prior to
large Phase 3 trials. This has enabled us to continue to benefit from the
successes of antisense drugs through a growing annuity of licensing fees,
milestones and royalty payments with many focused partners," said B. Lynne
Parshall, COO and CFO of Isis. "We believe that clinical results to date have
established OGX-011 as one of many promising antisense drugs and OncoGenex is
now ideally situated to lead the final stages of development of OGX-011 while
allowing Isis to continue to benefit as future milestones and commercial
revenues are realized. By working closely with OncoGenex during the
development of OGX-011, we have confidence that OncoGenex will independently
maximize the value of OGX-011."
    "The contributions of Isis have been instrumental in the development of
OGX-011 to date and we anticipate that our positive interactions will continue
with this amended relationship," added Cormack.
    Under the terms of the original co-development agreement, OncoGenex paid
65% of the development costs and would receive 65% of any economic benefit
resulting from the development of OGX-011. Under the terms of the amended
agreement, Isis' funding commitment for 35% of the OGX-011 program ends, and
OncoGenex will be responsible for all future development costs of OGX-011.
These expenses have already been factored into OncoGenex' previously announced
disclosures regarding anticipated development costs. Isis will receive
royalties for OGX-011 ranging from 5.5% to 7% of net sales. In addition,
OncoGenex will pay Isis 30% of the upfront fees and milestone payments
OncoGenex receives if OncoGenex licenses OGX-011 prior to initiation of
registration trials, 25% if OGX-011 is licensed before 20% of patients have
been enrolled in a registration trial, 20% if OGX-011 is licensed prior to
marketing approval and 15% thereafter.
    OncoGenex recently announced preliminary Phase 2 data of OGX-011 in
patients with hormone refractory prostate cancer at the 2008 Annual Meeting of
the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Investigators found that, in
this patient population, OGX-011 continues to show better than expected
survival results when compared to published results. OGX-011, also referred to
as custirsen sodium, is a second-generation antisense oligonucleotide designed
to facilitate tumor cell death induced by chemotherapy by decreasing
production of clusterin, a cell survival protein linked to treatment
resistance. Preliminary analyses have shown that low-average levels of serum
clusterin were predictive of the survival benefit. Additionally, patients
treated with second-line chemotherapy plus OGX-011 experienced a reduction in
pain that was durable as well as a decline in Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA).
More information, including the ASCO data press release, is available on the
company website at www.oncogenex.ca.

    About OncoGenex

    OncoGenex is a private biopharmaceutical company committed to the
development and commercialization of new cancer therapies that address
treatment resistance in cancer patients. The company's three product
candidates are designed to inhibit the production of specific proteins
associated with treatment resistance and which are over-produced in response
to a variety of cancer treatments. OGX-011 is completing evaluation in five
Phase 2 clinical studies in prostate, lung, and breast cancers. OGX 427 has
begun evaluation in Phase 1 clinical studies, while the third product
candidate, OGX-225, has completed preclinical pharmacology studies. More
information is available at www.oncogenex.ca.

    Safe Harbor

    This press release contains forward-looking statements, including
statements concerning clinical trial results, future partnering activities and
the economic benefits from developing OGX-011. 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. For example, statements regarding the
timing and anticipated results of clinical trials and development efforts,
future partnering activities and economic benefits from developing OGX-011 are
all forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include,
among others, that clinical results will not be maintained in final data
analysis, that current or future clinical trials will not be successful or
confirm the results of earlier studies, that OncoGenex may not realize the
anticipated economic benefits from developing OGX-011 on its own, risks
associated with obtaining funding from third parties or completing a financing
necessary to support the costs and expenses of clinical studies, risks
relating to the development, safety and efficacy of therapeutic drugs and
potential applications for these products. No assurances can be given that any
of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or
occur, or if any of them do so, what impact they will have on the results of
operations or financial condition of OncoGenex. OncoGenex 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) 630-5400, scormack@oncogenex.ca; OncoGenex Investor and Media
Contact: Jason Spark, Porter Novelli Life Sciences, (619) 849-6005,

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