RVC Biofund Portfolio Company to Contribute to Development of Cancer Therapy

  RVC Biofund Portfolio Company to Contribute to Development of Cancer Therapy

Business Wire

MOSCOW -- February 20, 2013

The investment committee of RVC Biofund has approved the investment in Andrus
Reo, a recently established startup which will conduct phase III clinical
trials for an antineoplastic drug in Russia and the CIS. The Reovirus based
anti-cancer drug, which is being jointly developed with Oncolytics Biotech
Inc. of Canada, targets the treatment of head and neck malignant tumors as
well as pancreatic cancer. The investment in Andrus Reo in addition to
supporting the phase II clinical trials will also assist with further
registration of the drug.

According to the Russian Federation Ministry of Health, the rate of pancreatic
cancer has been steadily increasing for the last two decades. Pancreatic
cancer was diagnosed at 9.05 cases per 100,000 individuals in 2000, 10.59
cases per 100,000 in 2011, and is expected to reach 11 cases per 100,000 by
2015. The survival rate of pancreatic cancer remains one of the lowest in
oncology due to lack of effective treatment. While the statistics concerning
head and neck malignant tumor statistics are not as severe, they continue to
be a significant concern of the Russian people and burden on the Russian
healthcare system.

“Despite considerable achievements in the last 30 years in chemotherapy the
problem of new malignant neoplasms therapy is still of acute interest and the
attention of venture investors to develop and market projects of new
antineoplastic medication is growing as well. This unprecedented project,
launched by Andrus Ltd. and RVC Biofund in cooperation with Oncolytics Biotech
Inc., involves unique scientific and experimental foundation of the Canadian
company and advanced clinical research data. The transfer of innovative
developments at such a stage is an unparalleled precedent for the Russian
pharmaceutical R&D sector,” said Egor Beketov, Director of RVC Biofund. “We
hope to make this drug available for Russian patients and significantly
improve their the quality of life as well as lay the groundwork for the new
development of products on the basis of oncolytic viruses”

The development is a Reovirus which selectively infects and destroys the cells
with activated RAS pathway. Hyperactivation of the RAS signaling pathway is
the root cause of many cancers (up to 30 % of all carcinomas) and is found in
metastases in 85-90 % of all cases. Tumors bearing an activated RAS pathway
are deficient in their ability to activate an anti-viral response mediated by
the host cellular protein, PKR. Since PKR is responsible for preventing
reovirus replication, tumor cells that lack the activity of PKR are
susceptible to Reovirus infection and eventual cell death. As normal cells do
not possess RAS activation, these cells are able to thwart Reovirus infection
by the activity of PKR.

“The drug is a proprietary formulation of the human Reovirus and is a key
development of Oncolytics Biotech Inc. We carry out multi-center randomized
clinical studies of this drug for a variety of indicators in oncology and hope
the development of a commercial product will improve the efficiency of
treatment of a wide range of malignant neoplasms. Cooperation with RVC Biofund
and Andrus Ltd provides us a unique opportunity to market the product both in
Russia and the CIS countries,” said Brad Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of
Oncolytics Biotech Inc.

Konstantin Chernov, General Director of Andrus Reo added, “The medicine
targets a wide range of tumors and has a potential to become a blockbuster in
its segment. Limited (compared to traditional chemotherapy) side effects and
unique mechanism of action allows the combination of the drug with different
anti-neoplastic agents thus increasing the efficacy of treatment with
excellent tolerability. The effects were proven in a cycle of phase II
clinical trials of different cancers, including head and neck cancer.”

About RVC Biofund

The Venture fund of RVC Biofund is a subsidiary of RVC, a $1B Fund of Funds in
Russia. RVC Biofund’s investment focus covers both innovative
biopharmaceutical companies and service companies that provide contract
laboratory, analytical and consulting services to the biotechnological,
pharmaceutical and medical companies. RVC Biofund’s Board has now so far
approved 6 investment projects in companies in the biopharmaceutical and
biotechnological sector.

About Andrus Ltd.

Andrus Ltd is dedicated to creating a novel Russian biopharmaceutical platform
by bridging the gap between novel biopharmaceutical technologies and the
Russian Healthcare market. Through partnering with leading development
companies and leveraging Andrus' domestic operations the Company is able to
build a healthcare platform based on pioneering science and best in class drug

About Oncolytics Biotech Inc.

Oncolytics Biotech Inc. is focused on the development of oncolytic viruses for
use as cancer therapeutics. The Company’s lead product, REOLYSIN®, a
proprietary formulation of the human Reovirus, is currently in late stage
(Phase III) clinical testing in head and neck cancers. REOLYSIN® has been
utilized in nearly thirty clinical trials including translational, Phase I,
Phase II (single arm and randomized), and Phase III studies in a broad range
of cancer indications.

For more details: http://www.oncolyticsbiotech.com.

About RVC

RVC is a government fund of funds and a development institute of the Russian
Federation; since 2006 it has been one of Russia’s key tools in building its
own national innovation economy. RVC invests government capital through VC
funds that it creates in partnership with private investors. RVC has backed 12
funds (including two funds outside Russia) with a total capitalization of RUB
26 bln (about US$860 mln), its share amounting to RUB 16 bln (about US$530
mln). As of February 2013, RVC-backed funds hold a portfolio of 139 companies,
with invested capital totaling RUB 12.1 billion (about US$405 mln).


Jeff Gulko, 857-284-7220x154
Director of Public Relations
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