Oncothyreon highlights corporate and clinical objectives for 2008

    BELLEVUE, WA, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - Oncothyreon Inc. (the "Company") (Nasdaq:  
ONTY) (TSX:ONY), a biotechnology company specializing in the development of
innovative therapeutic products for the treatment of cancer, today provided a
review of the Company's clinical development plans and corporate objectives
for 2008. Oncothyreon is developing both novel synthetic vaccines and targeted
small molecules with the potential to improve the lives and outcomes of cancer
    "During 2008, our primary focus will continue to be the advancement of
our clinical pipeline," said Robert L. Kirkman, M.D., President and Chief
Executive Officer of Oncothyreon. "We are committed to the rapid development
of our product candidates as the best strategy for building long-term value
for our shareholders and achieving our vision of developing important new
cancer therapies."
    "As we advance our clinical programs, we also remain committed to prudent
management of our financial resources," continued Dr. Kirkman. "The
manufacturing revenue and milestone payments we anticipate receiving under our
collaboration with Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany for Stimuvax(R) are
expected to support the further development of this product without material
additional investment by Oncothyreon. We believe Stimuvax has substantial
upside potential if it is approved and marketed, as our agreements with Merck
KGaA include significant commercialization milestones and royalties on
Stimuvax sales. With respect to our small molecule programs, we are actively
seeking a partner for one or more of our product candidates, in order to
provide additional resources for these product candidates, while generating
revenue to support ongoing development of other compounds in our pipeline."

    Oncothyreon provides the following update of its product development
pipeline for 2008:


    The Phase 3 pivotal trial of Stimuvax in patients with non-small cell
lung cancer (NSCLC), START (Stimulating Targeted Antigenic Responses To
NSCLC), continues enrollment in 2008. This year Oncothyreon expects to
manufacture and to continue to provide to Merck KGaA substantial quantities of
both Stimuvax and placebo to support START and potentially other additional
trials of Stimuvax. In addition, Oncothyreon will continue the development of
a large-scale process in preparation for the manufacture of commercial
quantities of Stimuvax. Oncothyreon expects to receive an additional milestone
payment related to Stimuvax during 2008.
    START is a multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled
study that will evaluate patients with documented unresectable stage IIIA or
IIIB NSCLC who have had a response or stable disease after at least two cycles
of platinum-based chemo-radiotherapy. The study is expected to involve more
than 1,300 patients in approximately 30 countries.


    Enrollment is ongoing in the Phase 1 dose escalation trial of PX-478 in
patients with advanced metastatic cancer. Initial pharmacodynamic data from
the early patients in this trial has been submitted for potential presentation
at a scientific meeting at mid-year. More complete clinical data from this
trial is expected in the second half of 2008.
    PX-478 is a small molecule inhibitor of hypoxia inducible factor-1a 
(HIF-1a), a component of a transcription factor that is an important regulator
of the tumor response to hypoxia. Pre-clinical data have demonstrated that 
PX-478 can induce apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in experimental tumor
models, as well as the down-regulation of factors that control angiogenesis,
such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). PX-478 is effective when
delivered orally in animal models and has shown marked tumor regressions and
growth inhibition in such model systems across a range of cancers, including
lung, ovarian, renal, prostate, colon, pancreatic, and breast cancer.


    The Company currently expects to file an Investigational New Drug (IND)
application for PX-866 late in the first quarter of 2008. A Phase 1 trial of
PX-866 in patients with advanced metastatic cancer is targeted to begin in the
second quarter of 2008.
    PX-866 is an inhibitor of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase
(PI-3-kinase)/PTEN/Akt pathway, an important survival signaling pathway that
is activated in many types of human cancer. The PI-3-kinase inhibitor PX-866
induces prolonged inhibition of tumor PI-3-kinase signaling following both
oral and intravenous administration and has been shown to have potent in vivo
anti-tumor activity in human ovarian and lung cancer, as well as intracranial
glioblastoma, tumor models.

    PX-12 Small Molecule

    Enrollment is ongoing in the Phase 2 trial of PX-12 in patients with
advanced pancreatic cancer whose tumors have progressed while being treated
with gemcitabine or gemcitabine-containing regimens. Partial data from this
trial is expected in the second half of 2008. An additional trial of PX-12
exploring a more-prolonged infusion regimen is currently expected to begin in
the second quarter of 2008.
    PX-12 is an irreversible inhibitor of thioredoxin (Trx-1), a protein that
regulates many other proteins including hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1
alpha, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and activator protein 1  
(AP-1). These factors play a critical role in cancer cell growth, survival and
resistance to chemotherapy.

    Pre-clinical Programs

    In addition to its clinical stage product candidates, Oncothyreon has
several pre-clinical programs in development. During 2008 the Company expects
to select one program for clinical development in 2009. Potential candidates
include BGLP-40, a completely synthetic MUC1-based liposomal glycolipopeptide
cancer vaccine that utilizes Oncothyreon's proprietary adjuvant PET-lipid A,
and PX-316, a small molecule inhibitor of AKT-mediated survival signaling. The
Company is also seeking partners for its proprietary adjuvants, as well as for
a group of small molecules with potential applications in restenosis. In
addition, Oncothyreon continues to evaluate external product development

    About Oncothyreon

    Oncothyreon is a biotechnology company specializing in the development of
innovative therapeutic products for the treatment of cancer. Oncothyreon'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 patients. For more information, visit www.oncothyreon.com.

    Forward-Looking Statements

    In order to provide Oncothyreon's investors with an understanding of its
current intentions and future prospects, this release contains statements that
are forward looking, including statements related to payments Oncothyreon may
expect to receive; manufacturing and other costs; the therapeutic and
commercial potential of Stimuvax and other product candidates; future clinical
development plans for various product candidates; the details of the clinical
trials for various product candidates; the anticipated future size of the
market for Stimuvax; and identifying and capitalizing on possible
collaboration, strategic partnering, acquisition or divestiture opportunities.
These forward-looking statements represent Oncothyreon's intentions, plans,
expectations and beliefs and are based on its management's experience and
assessment of historical and future trends and the application of key
assumptions relating to future events and circumstances.
    Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including
risks and uncertainties related to Oncothyreon's business and the general
economic environment. Many of these risks and uncertainties are beyond
Oncothyreon's control. These risks, uncertainties and other factors could
cause our actual results to differ materially from those projected in
forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties, and assumptions include
those predicting the timing, duration and results of clinical trials, the
timing and results of regulatory reviews, the safety and efficacy of Stimuvax
and other product candidates, the timing of commencement of clinical
development of pre-clinical product candidates, the possibility of future
milestone and royalty payments, and the likelihood of future partnering
opportunities. There can be no guarantee that the results of earlier trials
will be predictive of either safety or efficacy in future trials. These and
other risks and uncertainties are described in the reports and other documents
filed by either Biomira Inc. or Oncothyreon Inc. with the SEC and/or Canadian
regulatory authorities.
    Although Oncothyreon believes that any forward-looking statements
contained herein are reasonable, it can give no assurance that its
expectations are correct. All forward-looking statements are expressly
qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. For a detailed
description of the risks and uncertainties associated with Oncothyreon, you
are encouraged to review the official corporate documents filed by either
Biomira Inc. or Oncothyreon Inc. with the securities regulators in United
States and Canada with the SEC and on SEDAR. Oncothyreon is under no
obligation to (and expressly disclaims any such obligation to) update or alter
its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future
events, or otherwise.

For further information:

For further information: Investor and Media Relations Contact: Julie
Rathbun, Rathbun Communications, (206) 769-9219, ir@oncothyreon.com

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