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April 14, 2022, 7:00 a.m. EDT

Oncolytics Biotech� Announces Publication of Preclinical Data Demonstrating the Synergistic Anti-Cancer Activity of Pelareorep Combined with CAR T Cell Therapy in Solid Tumors in Science Translational Medicine

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. and CALGARY, AB, Apr 14, 2022 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- - Pelareorep-CAR T combination may expand the commercial potential of CAR T cells to solid tumors

- Combining CAR T cells with pelareorep prevented antigen escape by creating CAR T cells with dual specificity through a novel mechanism

- Loading CAR T cells with pelareorep led to dramatic improvements in their persistence and anti-cancer activity as well as cures in multiple murine solid tumor models

Oncolytics Biotech(®) Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204741333/composite ONCY +3.08% /zigman2/quotes/203812837/delayed CA:ONC +1.80% today announced the publication of preclinical data demonstrating the synergistic anti-cancer activity of pelareorep combined with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy in solid tumors. The paper, entitled "Oncolytic virus-mediated expansion of dual-specific CAR T cells improves efficacy against solid tumors in mice," was published in Science Translational Medicine in collaboration with researchers at several prestigious institutions, including the Mayo Clinic and Duke University. A link to the paper can be found by clicking here.


"Having these results published in such a high-impact journal provides important external validation of their significance," said Thomas Heineman, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Oncolytics Biotech Inc. "While CAR T cells have generated long-term cures in hematologic malignancies(1), the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironments (TMEs) of solid organ cancers have thus far limited their efficacy in these indications. Pelareorep has repeatedly been shown to reverse immunosuppressive TMEs, and in the present publication pelareorep is shown to enable the effectiveness of CAR T cells in multiple murine solid tumor models. This is a powerful finding that, if translated to the clinic, could significantly improve the prognosis of patients with a variety of highly prevalent cancers by providing a novel and potentially durable treatment option. By demonstrating the ability to improve T cell perseverance, reduce antigen escape, and overcome challenging solid tumor TMEs, the inclusion of pelareorep addresses the three most challenging roadblocks to effective CAR T therapy."

Andrew de Guttadauro, President of Oncolytics Biotech U.S. and Global Head of Business Development, added, "Despite revolutionizing the treatment of certain cancers and surpassing a billion dollars in sales last year, CAR T therapies currently only serve a small subset of patients suffering from hematologic malignancies. With these latest results, we now have strong preclinical evidence that pelareorep can fully unlock the value of CAR T therapies by expanding their commercial potential to the significantly larger market of cancer patients who are battling solid tumors."

Preclinical studies published in the paper evaluated the persistence and efficacy of pelareorep-loaded CAR T cells ("CAR/Pela therapy") in multiple murine solid tumor models. The effects of combining CAR/Pela therapy with a subsequent intravenous dose of pelareorep ("pelareorep boost") were also investigated. Key data and conclusions from the paper include:

            --  The persistence and anti-cancer activity of CAR T cells
                improved drastically when loaded with pelareorep. Compared to
                either treatment alone, treatment with CAR/Pela therapy led to
                statistically significant survival benefits in murine skin and
                brain cancer models.
            --  CAR/Pela therapy followed by a pelareorep boost led to enhanced
                efficacy in murine skin and brain cancer models and tumor cures
                in >80% of treated mice in each model.
            --  Loading CAR T cells with pelareoep led to improved cancer cell
                targeting and prevented antigen escape in vivo by generating
                CAR T cells with dual specificity that target their designed
                antigen and the native T cell receptor antigen. These results
                indicate that CAR/Pela therapy may provide longer-lasting
                therapeutic benefits compared to treatment with CAR T cells

Dr. Matt Coffey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oncolytics Biotech Inc. and co-author of the paper commented, "These exciting results are an excellent example of how we are leveraging collaborations with key opinion leaders and premier research institutions to broaden pelareorep's potential therapeutic impact. This allows us to remain primarily focused on our lead breast cancer program, which has shown how pelareorep's ability to promote tumor T cell infiltration leads to synergy with checkpoint inhibitors in the clinic. These newly published preclinical findings show pelareorep's synergistic benefits extend even beyond checkpoint inhibitors and highlight an opportunity to increase our addressable patient population. As we pursue this opportunity moving forward, we intend to utilize relationships with academic or industry partners so that we can continue to execute on our clinical and corporate objectives with efficiency."

About CAR T cells and CAR T therapy

The CAR T process begins when blood is drawn from a patient and their T cells are separated so they can be genetically engineered to produce chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). These receptors enable the T cells to recognize and attach to a specific protein or antigen on tumor cells. Once the engineering process is complete, a laboratory can increase the number of CAR T cells into the hundreds of millions. Finally, the CAR T cells will be infused back into the patient where, ideally, the engineered cells further multiply and recognize and kill cancer cells. Historically, solid tumors have been considered beyond the reach of CAR T therapy due to their tumor microenvironment, which is detrimental to CAR T cell entry and activity, amongst other challenges.(2)

About Science Translational Medicine

Science Translational Medicine is the leading weekly online journal publishing translational research at the intersection of science, engineering, and medicine. The goal of Science Translational Medicine is to promote human health by providing a forum for communicating the latest research advances from biomedical, translational, and clinical researchers from all established and emerging disciplines relevant to medicine. In addition to original research, Science Translational Medicine also publishes Reviews, Editorials, Focus articles, and Viewpoints.

About Oncolytics Biotech Inc.

Oncolytics is a biotechnology company developing pelareorep, an intravenously delivered immunotherapeutic agent. This compound induces anti-cancer immune responses and promotes an inflamed tumor phenotype -- turning "cold" tumors "hot" -- through innate and adaptive immune responses to treat a variety of cancers.

Pelareorep has demonstrated synergies with immune checkpoint inhibitors and may also be synergistic with other approved oncology treatments. Oncolytics is currently conducting and planning clinical trials evaluating pelareorep in combination with checkpoint inhibitors and targeted therapies in solid and hematological malignancies as it advances towards a registration study in metastatic breast cancer. For further information, please visit: www.oncolyticsbiotech.com .


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