Oncothyreon's PX-478 is effective in preclinical model of human lung cancer

    BELLEVUE, WA, Feb. 25 /CNW/ - Oncothyreon Inc. (Nasdaq - ONTY) (TSX -
ONY) (the "Company") today announced the presentation of data demonstrating
the effectiveness of PX-478 in a preclinical model of human lung cancer at the
8th Annual Targeted Therapies of the Treatment of Lung Cancer meeting of the
International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer in Santa Monica,
California. The data were presented on February 22, 2008, by Jorg J. Jacoby,
Ph.D., Instructor, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.
Oncothyreon's PX-478 is a small molecule inhibitor of hypoxia inducible factor
(HIF)-1 alpha currently in a Phase 1 trial in patients with advanced
metastatic cancer and lymphoma.
    The study employed a model of lung cancer in mice, which closely mimics
the disease in humans. Treatment with oral PX-478 for five days resulted in
significant inhibition of tumor growth, marked reduction in lymph nodes
metastases, decreased volume of pleural effusions, and significantly improved
survival. PX-478 was effective in models of both non-small cell lung cancer
and small cell lung cancer that express HIF-1 alpha.
    "These data suggest that antagonism of HIF-1 alpha with PX-478
significantly inhibits the growth and spread of lung cancers expressing HI-1
alpha and will prove valuable in planning clinical trials of this novel
agent," said Roy Herbst, M.D., Professor, Thoracic/Head & Neck Medical
Oncology, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and senior author of the current study.
"We look forward to conducting further studies of PX-478 in combination with
other agents used in the treatment of these diseases, and to participating in
future clinical trials of this highly promising drug candidate."
    Enrollment is ongoing in the Phase 1 dose escalation trial of PX-478 in
patients with advanced metastatic cancer and lymphoma. Clinical data from this
trial are expected in the second half of 2008.

    About PX-478

    PX-478 is a novel small molecule compound that inhibits the activity of
hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1 alpha, a transcription factor that controls
the expression of a number of genes important for growth and survival of
cancer cells. Genes regulated by HIF-1 alpha contribute to diverse functions
including new blood vessel growth (angiogenesis), use of glucose for energy,
and protection against apoptosis (programmed cell death).
    Preclinical data have demonstrated that PX-478 can induce apoptosis in
experimental tumor models, as well as the down-regulation of factors which
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 model systems across a range
of cancers, including lung, ovarian, renal, prostatic, colon, pancreatic, and
breast cancer. The wide variety of models that show sensitivity to PX-478
represents a large potential market for this product candidate. The ability to
combine PX-478 with radiation therapy may further expand the opportunities for
this novel compound.

    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 the ongoing Phase 1 trial
of PX-478; the therapeutic and commercial potential of PX-478; and future
clinical development plans for PX-478. 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
    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, and the safety and efficacy of
PX-478. There can be no guarantee that the results of preclinical studies will
be predictive of either safety or efficacy in future clinical 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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