OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals Named Life Sciences Company of the Year by LifeSciences British Columbia

    BOTHELL, WA, and VANCOUVER, April 9 /CNW/ - OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals,
Inc. ("OncoGenex" or the "Company") (NASDAQ:   OGXI), announced today that it
has been named the 2009 Life Sciences Company of the Year by LifeSciences
British Columbia. This annual award is presented by LifeSciences British
Columbia to recognize a local organization that has made outstanding
contributions to the development of British Columbia's life sciences industry.
This award recognizes a company for execution of business strategies,
scientific excellence, leadership and vision and market position/opportunity.
The organization also uses this award to increase public awareness and
understanding of life sciences in the province.
    "We are very pleased to be recognized for this award, especially in light
of what was a particularly challenging economic environment in 2008," said
Scott Cormack, President and CEO of OncoGenex. "For OncoGenex, 2008 was a
tremendously active year as we took measures to prepare for the final stages
of clinical development of our lead product candidate, OGX-011, for the
treatment of cancer. We released Phase 2 clinical data showing a survival
benefit in patients treated with OGX-011 and are working closely with the FDA
to develop Phase 3 study designs and protocols defining a registration path
for product approval. We also took measures to extend our cash runway, and we
have been advancing discussions with potential development partners."
    "There is no greater honour than to be recognized by one's peers," added
Cormack. "I'd like to thank all the employees at OncoGenex, as this award was
earned by each and every one of them through their dedication, hard work and

    About LifeSciences British Columbia

    LifeSciences British Columbia supports and represents the
biopharmaceutical, medical device, bioproducts, bioenergy and greater life
sciences community of British Columbia through leadership, advocacy and
promotion of British Columbia's world-class science and industry. Via active
facilitation of partnering and investment into the life sciences sector,
British Columbia is fast becoming a global life sciences leader. LifeSciences
British Columbia is a not-for-profit, non-government industry-funded

    About OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals

    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

    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, potential results of clinical trials, the potential benefits of the
Company's product candidates 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 possibility that an agreement with the
FDA cannot be reached regarding a clinical trial using pain as the primary
endpoint for OGX-011, 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. 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.

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,

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OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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