Shares of Oncolytics Biotech (TSX:ONC) are up nearly 35% this morning after announcing positive top line data from a Phase III clinical study.
The study examined tumour changes between the pre-treatment and first post-treatment scans. Of the 105 patients with tumours 86% showed stabilization or shrinkage, compared to just 67% of the control group.
Oncolytics CEO, Dr. Brad Thompson, said the company was more than pleased: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first successful double-blinded randomized data from a clinical study using an intravenously-administered oncolytic virus. We are delighted to have obtained statistically significant data for REOLYSIN in a randomized clinical setting,” he said. “We continue to await the data for the other endpoints of this study, to which all parties still remain blinded at this point.”
Oncolytics Biotech’s history goes all the way back to the early 1990′s and discoveries made in the Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Calgary. The company has since poured ten of millions of dollars into the development of a cancer treatment based around a formulation of reovirus, a family of viruses that can affect the gastrointestinal system and have shown to have oncolytic, or cancer killing properties.
Reolysin is a proprietary form of human reovirus developed by Oncolytics. Reovirus is found naturally in mammalian respiratory and bowel systems. Every human is exposed to these viruses, which are found in our gastrointestinal systems and respiratory tract, but the vast majority of us do not show any symptoms from their presence there.
Decades ago, researchers began to suspect that reovirus showed potential as a cancer therapeutic because it reproduced well in cancer cell lines, specifically in those cells that display and activated Ras pathway, a characteristic that could play a role in two-thirds of all human cancers. Oncolytics Biotech has become a world leader in the area, with nearly three-hundred patents to date.
At press time shares of Oncolytics Biotech on the TSX were up 34.6% to $3.15.