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February 23, 2005

Onyvax Announces EC Grant
For Cancer Vaccine Research Collaboration

London, UK – 23 February 2005: Onyvax Limited, the biotechnology company developing novel cancer therapies, today announces it is part of a research consortium led by Nottingham Trent University, that has been awarded a European Community grant worth €4.2M. The three-year, Multi-national project will involve identifying abnormal proteins (cancer biomarkers) in the blood or tissue of patients with ovarian, breast or prostate cancer that could indicate whether they are likely to benefit from vaccine therapy.

The project - the European Network for the Identification and Validation of Antigens and Biomarkers in Cancer and their Application in Clinical Tumour Immunology (ENACT) - is being funded by the EC under its Sixth Framework Programme which primarily serves to strengthen the scientific and technological bases of European industry.

Patients at clinical centres across Europe will be asked to take part in the study and the response of patients’ vaccine therapy will be closely monitored. The identification of new cancer biomarkers could make it possible to ascertain from a blood sample whether a patient has the ability to respond to a certain type of vaccination. This could highlight new ways of producing vaccines to stimulate the body’s immune system to kill off cancer cells.

Commenting on the project, Anthony Walker, Chief Executive of Onyvax, said, “We are delighted to be participating in such a prestigious research collaboration. This research will build on our recent discovery of the signature immunological profile which potentially predicts the clinical responses seen in our recent Onyvax-P Phase II clinical trial in prostate cancer patients."

This is the second project that Onyvax is involved in that is funded by the EC’s Sixth Framework Programme. In October 2004 Onyvax announced that it is working with a European research consortium to develop new vaccine therapies for lung cancer.

 


For further information, please contact:

Onyvax
Dr Anthony Walker / Robert Johnson
+44 (0)208 682 9494

Financial Dynamics
Julia Philips / Lucy Briggs
+44 (0)20 7831 3113


Notes to Editors:

ENACT
There will be an official launch to the project at Nottingham Trent University on March 1, 2005, when representatives from all the partners of the consortium will be present.

ENACT partners include:

• Nottingham Trent University (UK)
• Medical University of Sofia (Bulgaria)
• University of Tubingen (Germany)
• The Karolinska Institute(Sweden)
• Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche medicale (France)
• Jagiellonian University (Poland)
• University of Latvia (Latvia)
• University of Granada (Spain)
• German Cancer Research Center (Germany)
• The Radium Hospital (Norway)
• The Anthony Nolan Trust (UK)
• Loreus Ltd (UK)
• St Savas Cancer Hospital (Greece)
• Onyvax Ltd (UK)

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 two 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 IIb/III clinical trials in 2005. 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. The Phase IIa trial for Onyvax-P was conducted by the Department of Oncology at St George’s Hospital Medical School, London, UK.

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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