Oncothyreon to receive $5 million payment

    BELLEVUE, WA, Dec. 17 /CNW/ - Oncothyreon Inc. (Nasdaq:   ONTY) (TSX:ONY)
today announced that it has completed the transfer of certain assays and
methodology related to Stimuvax(R) (BLP25 liposome vaccine) to Merck KGaA of
Darmstadt, Germany, triggering a payment to Oncothyreon of $5 million. The
payment will be made under the terms of the amended and restated supply
agreement signed in August 2007.
    "We are pleased with the progress of our collaboration with Merck KGaA
for Stimuvax," said Robert L. Kirkman, M.D., President and Chief Executive
Officer of Oncothyreon. "Stimuvax is an exciting product candidate with
promising Phase 2 data supporting its development as a maintenance therapy
after first-line therapy for patients with Stage III non-small cell lung
cancer (NSCLC). There are currently no products approved for this indication,
which therefore represents both significant unmet medical need and a
potentially large market opportunity."
    Stimuvax is an innovative investigational therapeutic cancer vaccine
designed to induce an immune response to cancer cells that express MUC1, a
protein antigen widely expressed on common cancers. Merck KGaA currently is
conducting a global Phase 3 trial of Stimuvax in patients with unresectable
Stage III NSCLC. This global trial, known as START (Stimulating Targeted
Antigenic Responses To NSCLC) is expected to enroll more than 1,300 patients
in approximately 30 countries. The trial is designed to assess survival in
patients receiving best supportive care and Stimuvax compared with patients
receiving best supportive care alone.

    About the START Trial

    The START trial is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study
that will evaluate patients with documented unresectable stage III NSCLC who
have had a response or stable disease after at least two cycles of platinum
based chemo-radiotherapy. The study has been designed considering scientific
advice from the European Medicines Agency (EMEA/CHMP) and has been agreed upon
with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through a Special Protocol
Assessment (SPA). Data from a randomized Phase IIb trial described below
encouraged the initiation of the Phase III program.
    For more information on the START trial, or to find a participating
center and eligibility criteria, log on to www.nsclcstudy.com or

    About Stimuvax

    Stimuvax is an innovative investigational therapeutic cancer vaccine
designed to induce an immune response to cancer cells that express MUC1, a
protein antigen widely expressed on common cancers. MUC1 is over expressed on
many cancers such as lung cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer.
Stimuvax is thought to work by stimulating the body's immune system to
identify and destroy cancer cells expressing MUC1.
    A randomized Phase IIb trial was conducted in 171 patients with stage
IIIb and IV NSCLC with response or stable disease after first line therapy.
While the overall study results were not statistically significant, in the
randomization stratum of patients with stage IIIb locoregional disease,
Stimuvax showed a median survival of 30.6 months versus 13.3 months in the
control group - an improvement of 17.3 months. In the Phase IIb trial, side
effects were primarily limited to mild-to-moderate flu-like symptoms, GI
disturbances, and mild injection site reactions.

    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; the therapeutic and commercial potential of Stimuvax;
future clinical development plans; the details of clinical trials; and the
anticipated future size of the market for Stimuvax. 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 the possibility of future milestone and royalty payments. 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 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 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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