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Anti-Cancer Therapy Developer Oncolytics Biotech Narrows Q1 Loss to $4M

From Canadian Press DataFile (May 12, 2011)

CALGARY -- Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (TSX:ONC) has reported a narrowing of its first-quarter net loss as the development stage pharmaceutical company moves ahead with clinical trials for its proprietary anti-cancer therapy Reolysin.

The Calgary-based concern said Thursday that its net and comprehensive loss for the three months ended March 31 was $4 million or six cents per share. That was an improvement over the same 2010 period when the loss was almost 4.7 million or seven cents per share.

The company did not report any operational revenue in the quarter.

Oncolytics is a Calgary-based biotechnology company focused on the development of oncolytic viruses as potential cancer therapeutics.

Its clinical program includes a variety of human trials, including a Phase 3 trial in head and neck cancers using Reolysin.

``In order to maximize the future commercial potential for Reolysin, we continue to expand and advance our clinical program through a combination of our own trials and sponsored initiatives that allow us to cost effectively expand the scope of our clinical work,'' president and CEO Brad Thompson said in a release.

``In the quarter we reported positive results from multiple trials and our strengthened balance sheet will enable us to expand the number of randomized studies we are running in 2011,'' Thompson added.

On Wednesday, the company announced it had entered into a supply agreement with a division of Sigma-Aldrich Corp. for the commercial manufacture of Reolysin.

Financial terms of the agreement with Sigma's SAFC division were not disclosed. However, Oncolytics said Sigma-Aldrich would supply clinical requirements and commercial material upon approval of the therapy.

SAFC has worked with Oncolytics before to develop and optimize manufacturing of Reolysin to the commercial level.

``This agreement represents a significant step forward in the drive to commercialize Reolysin as we prepare to produce expanded clinical supplies and build inventory for potential commercial sales,'' Matt Coffey, chief operating officer Oncolytics, said in a statement.

Oncolytics stock was down three cents at $5.51 in midday trading Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.


Posted: May 2011