YM BIOSCIENCES', EUROPEAN PARTNER, ONCOSCIENCE AG, ANNOUNCES INITIATION OF ADVANCED NIMOTUZUMAB TRIALS IN ADULT GLIOMA AND PANCREATIC CANCER



    MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 21 /CNW/ - YM BioSciences Inc. (AMEX:   YMI, TSX: YM,
AIM: YMBA), an oncology company that identifies, develops and commercializes
differentiated products for patients worldwide, today announced that
Oncoscience AG (Wedel, Germany), its European partner for the development of
the humanized EGFR-targeting monoclonal antibody, nimotuzumab, has advised
that two additional late-stage trials have been cleared to commence in Europe.

    
     -  A randomized multi-centre study in which nimotuzumab and the current
        standard of care (radiotherapy with concomitant and adjuvant
        temozolomide) will be compared to the current standard of care in
        patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). This Phase III
        first-line study is expected to recruit 150 patients in approximately
        24 months. The primary end-point for this trial is Progression-Free
        Survival with Response Rate and Symptom Control among the secondary
        endpoints.

     -  A randomized, placebo-controlled, multi-centre Phase IIb/IIIa study
        in chemotherapy-naive patients with locally advanced or metastatic
        pancreatic cancer who will be treated with either gemcitabine plus
        nimotuzumab or gemcitabine plus placebo. This trial is expected to
        recruit 188 patients requiring approximately 24 months. The primary
        end-points for this trial are Time to Tumor Progression (TTP) and
        Overall Survival with Quality of Life and Response Rate among the
        secondary endpoints. YM BioSciences anticipates that it will extend
        the European trial in pancreatic cancer into Canada by submitting the
        protocol to Canadian health regulatory authorities and adding
        Canadian sites to accelerate recruitment.
    

    "The assessment of nimotuzumab in these two randomized trials by our
partner Oncoscience AG is an important expansion of the already comprehensive
global nimotuzumab development effort," said David Allan, Chairman and CEO of
YM BioSciences. "The proposed cooperation between YM and Oncoscience in
extending the trial into Canada with a common protocol parallels the structure
that is already in place for a trial in non-small-cell lung cancer which YM is
conducting in Canada and Kuhnil Pharmaceutical Co., is conducting in Korea
with a common protocol. The cooperation in these trials is designed to
accelerate recruitment and lower the costs to the participants."

    Nimotuzumab

    Nimotuzumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets the epidermal
growth factor receptor (EGFR). To date nimotuzumab has been administered to
approximately 900 patients in more than a dozen clinical trials and on a
compassionate basis. It has been approved in several countries and is being
provided on a compassionate basis in certain countries including Canada,
Germany and Australia. The drug continues to demonstrate a significantly
superior side-effect profile compared to all the other EGFR-targeting
antibodies and small molecules targeting the EGF tyrosine kinase signalling
pathway. The absence of any cases of severe rash to date and the very rare
instances of any of the other debilitating side effects holds the prospect for
nimotuzumab to become best-in-class for this important family of
EGFR-targeting agents.

    Nimotuzumab global development programs

    Nimotuzumab is licensed to YM's majority-owned Canadian subsidiary, CIMYM
BioSciences Inc., by CIMAB, S.A., the corporation representing the Centre for
Molecular Immunology, which was responsible for the discovery and early
development of this unique molecule. Nimotuzumab has been sub-licensed by
CIMYM to Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd for Japan, Oncoscience AG in Europe, Kuhnil
Pharmaceutical Co. in South Korea and Innogene Kalbiotech in Southeast Asia.
    In the territories for which YM has licensed nimotuzumab, the drug is
currently in varying stages of development in colorectal cancer, adult and
pediatric glioma, non-small-cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer and YM
expects that the range of indications will continue to broaden in 2008 as the
group's cooperative efforts expand.
    In countries outside of YM's territories, nimotuzumab is in development
by seven licensees and is already approved for treatment of cancers of the
head and neck in a number of those including India, China, Cuba, Argentina and
Columbia.
    YM anticipates that the licensees will increasingly participate
cooperatively to accelerate the rate of recruitment into trials of common
interest, thereby reducing the costs of development for each participant, and
shortening the time to completion of clinical trials.

    About YM BioSciences

    YM BioSciences Inc. is an oncology company that identifies, develops and
commercializes differentiated products for patients worldwide. The Company has
two late-stage products: nimotuzumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody that
targets the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and is approved in several
countries for treatment of various types of head and neck cancer; and
AeroLEF(TM), a proprietary, inhaled-delivery composition of free and
liposome-encapsulated fentanyl in development for the treatment of moderate to
severe pain, including cancer pain.

    This press release may contain forward-looking statements, which reflect
the Company's current expectation regarding future events. These
forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause
actual results, events or developments to be materially different from any
future results, events or developments expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to,
changing market conditions, the successful and timely completion of clinical
studies, the establishment of corporate alliances, the impact of competitive
products and pricing, new product development, uncertainties related to the
regulatory approval process and other risks detailed from time to time in the
Company's ongoing quarterly and annual reporting. Certain of the assumptions
made in preparing forward-looking statements include but are not limited to
the following: that nimotuzumab will continue to demonstrate a competitive
safety profile in ongoing and future clinical trials; that AeroLEF(TM) will
continue to generate positive efficacy and safety data in future clinical
trials; and that YM and its various partners will complete their respective
clinical trials within the timelines communicated in this release. We
undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking
statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or
otherwise.

    %SEDAR: 00004652E




For further information:

For further information: Thomas Fechtner, the Trout Group LLC, Tel.
(212) 477-9007 x31, Fax (212) 460-9028, Email: tfechtner@troutgroup.com; James
Smith, the Equicom Group Inc., Tel. (416) 815-0700 x 229, Fax (416) 815-0080,
Email: jsmith@equicomgroup.com; Nominated Adviser, Canaccord Adams Limited,
Ryan Gaffney, Tel. +44 (0)20 7050 6500


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