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Encouraging Data on Oncolytics' Reolysin

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Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (ONCY) recently reported encouraging data from the U.S. phase phase II trial (REO 021) evaluating the use of oncology candidate, Reolysin plus Bristol-Myers Squibb Company’s (BMY) Taxol (paclitaxel) and carboplatin. The phase II study was conducted on patients suffering from squamous cell carcinoma of the lung (:SCCLC).

The study consisted of patients with metastatic stage IIIB or stage IV, or recurrent, SCCLC, and who had not undergone chemotherapy for their metastatic or recurrent cancer.

The study evaluated the response rate in 25 patients, who underwent more than one cycle of therapy. 92% of the patient population demonstrated overall tumour shrinkage with the average shrinkage rate being 32.7%. While 40% of the patients showed partial response was, 52% showed stable disease. 8% showed progressive disease.

The company expects final progression-free survival and safety data from the study by year end.

Oncolytics’ stock price was up 12.8% on the news. Results were presented from this study in Sep 2012 as well as earlier this year.

We note that Oncolytics is developing Reolysin as monotherapy or in combination with chemotherapy and radiotherapy for several other indications including head and neck cancer (phase III) and pancreatic cancer (phase II) and metastatic melanoma (phase II).

In May 2013, Oncolytics had reported positive preliminary results from the first stage of the U.S. phase II study, REO 020, which is evaluating Reolysin in combination with Taxol and carboplatin in patients suffering from metastatic melanoma.

Oncolytics carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Currently, companies which look attractive include Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) and Jazz Pharmaceuticals Public Limited Company (JAZZ) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), respectively.

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