CALGARY, April 2, 2012 /CNW/ - Oncolytics Biotech Inc. ("Oncolytics") (TSX:ONC, NASDAQ:ONCY) announced today that it has completed enrollment in the first, 80 patient stage of its Phase III clinical trial examining REOLYSIN® in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin in patients with platinum-refractory head and neck cancers (REO 018).
"This is an important milestone for this study," said Dr. Brad Thompson, President and CEO of Oncolytics. "A data analysis that will involve examining evolving progression free survival will now be performed on this patient group to determine the probability of success in the second stage of the study."
The randomized, two-arm, double-blind, multi-centre, two-stage, adaptive Phase III trial will assess the intravenous administration of REOLYSIN with the chemotherapy combination of paclitaxel and carboplatin versus the chemotherapy alone in patients with metastatic or recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, or squamous cell cancer of the nasopharynx, who have progressed on or after prior platinum-based chemotherapy. All patients will receive treatment every three weeks (21 day cycles) with paclitaxel and carboplatin and will also receive, on a blinded basis, either intravenous placebo or intravenous REOLYSIN. All dosing takes place in the first five days of each cycle, with all patients receiving standard intravenous doses of paclitaxel and carboplatin on day one only, and on days one through five, either intravenous placebo or intravenous REOLYSIN at a dose of 3x1010 TCID50. Patients may continue to receive the trial combination therapy for up to eight, 21-day cycles and, thereafter, blinded placebo or blinded REOLYSIN until the patient has progressive disease or meets other criteria for removal from the trial.
The primary endpoint for the trial is overall survival (OS). Secondary endpoints include progression free survival (PFS), objective response rate (complete response (CR) + partial response (PR)) and duration of response, and safety and tolerability of REOLYSIN when administered in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin. The first stage of the trial is non-adaptive, and was designed to enroll 80 patients. The second stage is adaptive, and is designed to enroll between 100 and 400 patients with the most probable statistical enrollment being 195 patients in this stage. This adaptive trial design allows data evaluation to determine if the probability of reaching a statistically significant endpoint has been achieved.
The trial is currently being conducted in more than 80 centres in 12 countries in North America and Europe, including the U.S. following an agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) process with respect to the trial's design.
About Oncolytics Biotech Inc.
Oncolytics is a Calgary-based biotechnology company focused on the development of oncolytic viruses as potential cancer therapeutics. Oncolytics' clinical program includes a variety of human trials including a Phase III trial in head and neck cancers using REOLYSIN, its proprietary formulation of the human reovirus. For further information about Oncolytics, please visit: www.oncolyticsbiotech.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements, including the Company's expectations related to the Phase III head and neck cancers trial, and the Company's belief as to the potential of REOLYSIN as a cancer therapeutic, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which could cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the availability of funds and resources to pursue research and development projects, the efficacy of REOLYSIN as a cancer treatment, the tolerability of REOLYSIN outside a controlled test, the success and timely completion of clinical studies and trials, the Company's ability to successfully commercialize REOLYSIN, uncertainties related to the research and development of pharmaceuticals and uncertainties related to the regulatory process. Investors should consult the Company's quarterly and annual filings with the Canadian and U.S. securities commissions for additional information on risks and uncertainties relating to the forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned against placing undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable laws.
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