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January 15, 2004

Onyvax and The Mayo Clinic to Develop Cancer Vaccines for Ovarian Cancer

London, UK and Rochester, MN - Thursday 15 January, 2004: Onyvax Limited, the biotechnology company developing novel cancer therapies, and The Mayo Clinic announced today, at the Gynaecological Oncology Group (GOG) semi-annual meeting in Atlanta, that they have entered into a collaborative license agreement granting Onyvax exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialise a cancer vaccine for ovarian cancer, the second most common form of cancer in women. Onyvax, currently also developing a vaccine for prostate cancer, aims to commence Phase II clinical trials in ovarian cancer within 24 months.

Cancer vaccines represent a highly attractive approach for cancer therapy as, in contrast to current treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, small non-toxic doses of a vaccine may be administered to a patient to stimulate an immune response.

Onyvax develops Cell Vaccines, a type of cancer vaccine that contains a combination of stable cell lines representing different stages of the cancer. The cell lines are irradiated and so cannot grow or divide. Cell Vaccines are designed to induce a powerful immune response against a broad range of cancer-associated antigens without the severe side effects often associated with conventional cancer therapies. Onyvax has observed encouraging Phase II clinical results with its lead Cell Vaccine for prostate cancer, Onyvax-P, and is expanding the programme to include other major cancers.

Commenting on the agreement, Dr. Anthony Walker, CEO of Onyvax, said: “As well as advancing the prostate programme into pivotal clinical trials, we are rolling out our technology into other cancer types, the first of which is ovarian cancer. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with The Mayo Clinic on this programme.”

Dr Stanimir Vuk-Pavlovic, Director of the Stem Cell Laboratory, The Mayo Clinic Cancer Centre, added: “We are pleased that our partnership with Onyvax will leverage the strengths of both sides in basic, translational and clinical research. We expect that this comprehensive approach will result in speedy advances towards clinical trials in immuno-therapy of ovarian cancer. Mayo is eager to employ its expertise to add value to promising new treatments of malignant diseases at stages where traditional treatments are no longer sufficient.”

- Ends -

Notes to Editors:

Onyvax Ltd is a biotechnology company developing novel cancer therapies that harness the selective power of the immune system to seek and destroy tumour cells.

Founded in 1997, Onyvax has three product candidates in clinical trials designed for the treatment of prostate and other cancers. Onyvax’s lead products are based on combinations of inactivated cell lines that induce immune responses to a broad spectrum of tumour targets. Onyvax-P, a Cell Vaccine for prostate cancer, is due to enter Phase III clinical trials within 12 months. For each cancer type, Onyvax generates banks of proprietary cell lines representative of different stages of the disease. The vaccines are manufactured in bulk under standardised conditions.

Onyvax is committed to the commercialisation of new therapies that significantly prolong survival while maintaining a high quality of life for cancer patients. The Company is based in London and has collaborations with leading institutions in Europe and the US.

Further information on Onyvax can be found at www.onyvax.com

Ovarian cancer facts:

According to the American Cancer Society some 25,400 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in the US and about 14,300 die of the disease. Ovarian cancer is the second commonest and most serious form of gynaecological cancer in the developed world; it accounts for 5% of all deaths and is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related death in women. Standard treatment is surgery followed by chemotherapy, however the side effects are significant and survival rates remain poor. The need for new therapies is acute.


For further information, please contact:

Onyvax
Dr Anthony Walker / Rob Johnson
+44 (0)20 8682 9119
+44 (0)20 8682 9495

Financial Dynamics
David Yates / Lucy Briggs
+44 (0)20 7831 3113

Mayo Research Foundation
John J. Murphy
(US) + 001 507 284 5005


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