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Oncolytics rises on lung cancer study results

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Oncolytics Biotech jumped Monday after the company said its experimental drug Reolysin helped shrink tumors in patients with lung cancer in a mid-stage study.

The company said tumors shrank in 23 of 25 patients in the study who had received more than one cycle of therapy. On average their tumors shrank by about 33 percent. Patients in the study had squamous cell carcinoma of the lung and were treated with Reolysin in addition to two chemotherapy drugs.

The company expects final results from the study later in the year. Patients in the trial had either metastatic cancer or cancer that had recurred after previous treatment, and had not yet received chemotherapy.

Reolysin is based on a common virus called the respiratory enteric orphan virus, or reovirus. Oncolytics says most adults have been exposed to the virus and it usually has no symptoms.

In December the Canadian drugmaker said Reolysin met its goal in a late-stage trial that evaluated the drug as a treatment for head and neck cancers. In 2013 Oncolytics has reported positive results from two other mid-stage trials. One evaluated Reolysin as a treatment for colorectal cancer and the other studied use of the drug in melanoma.

Oncolytics has no approved drugs.

U.S.-traded shares of Oncolytics Biotech Inc. jumped 34 cents, or 13 percent, to $2.99 in afternoon trading. The stock has ranged from $1.60 to $4.93 in the past 12 months.