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March 3, 2004

Onyvax Issued Broad US Patent For Prostate Cancer Vaccines

London, UK – 3 March, 2004: Onyvax Limited, the biotechnology company developing novel cancer therapies, today announced that it has been issued a broad patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,699,483) that includes specific composition of matter claims relating to the Company's proprietary prostate cancer vaccine programme. The patent covers the combined use of three human prostate tumour cell lines in a vaccine treatment designed to stimulate the immune system to fight prostate cancer, and significantly strengthens the Company’s intellectual property position.

Dr. Anthony Walker, CEO of Onyvax Ltd, said: "We are pleased to have been issued this broad patent which strengthens our intellectual property position around our Cell Vaccine technologies. The ownership of particular cell lines will remain the cornerstone of our proprietary position, but this patent provides additional protection and enhances our competitive stance going forward”.

Cell Vaccines are designed to induce a powerful immune response against a broad range of prostate cancer-associated antigens without the severe side effects often associated with conventional cancer therapies, such as radio or chemotherapy. In the UK, around 21,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer per year and about 9,500 die of the disease annually. The number of cases in the UK has risen by 25% in the last five years. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the US, with an estimated 220,900 new cases diagnosed each year. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, with about 28,900 deaths per year, exceeded only by lung cancer.

Onyvax is developing a number of cancer vaccines including Onyvax-P, a Cell Vaccine for the treatment of prostate cancer. Interim data from a Phase II clinical trial has shown that treatment with Onyvax-P slows down the rate of PSA release in men with hormone resistant prostate cancer and may also slow down the rate of disease progression. Onyvax expects to release final data from this trial later this year and is preparing to initiate phase III pivotal clinical trials within the next year.


For further information, please contact:

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

Financial Dynamics
Francetta Carr / Lucy Briggs
+44 (0)20 7831 3113

 

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

 

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