Lab Canada

Oncolytics Biotech forms scientific advisory board

Calgary, AB September 15, 2003 Oncolytics Biotech says it has formed a scientific advisory board to provide scientific and clinical guidance on the development of Reolysin, the company’s formulation of the human reovirus. The advisory board includes Dr Ramon Alemany, Dr Richard Gorlick, Dr Alan Tuchman, and Dr Frank Tufaro.

“We expect the experience and knowledge of our new advisory board to play a significant role in advancing Reolysin, our potential cancer therapeutic, as well as future therapeutic candidates, through the clinical trial process and ultimately in seeking regulatory approval,” says Dr Matt Coffey, vice president of product development.

Dr Alemany is an expert on the development of antitumoral agents based on adenovirus. During an eight-year period in the United States, he held progressively more senior positions in gene therapy laboratories at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Baxter Healthcare and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In 2001, he was appointed director of the gene and viral therapy group at The Institut Catala d’Oncologia in Barcelona. Dr Alemany is currently collaborating with Oncolytics to develop modified adenoviruses that are selective for Ras mediated cancers.

Dr Gorlick is the director of the Pediatric Sarcoma Laboratory and an assistant attending pediatrician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He is actively involved in the national pediatric cooperative group, the Children’s Oncology Group, for which he serves as the chairman of the subcommittee on bone tumor biology. Dr Gorlick is known for his research work on the molecular pharmacology of antifolate resistance and developing new therapeutic approaches for osteosarcoma.

Dr Tuchman works in private practice and is clinical professor of neurology at New York Medical College. He is also the principal of NeuroPhysics Corporation, a healthcare and neuroscience consulting firm. From 1997 to 2001, Dr Tuchman was the senior vice president of equity research for Oscar Gruss & Son, where he conducted investment research and helped develop marketing strategies for healthcare companies. He also held senior neurology positions at New York Medical College and Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center.

Dr Tufaro has extensive start-up experience with biotech firms, and was one of the original founders of Neurovir, a Vancouver-based biotech company, which has now merged with MediGene to develop herpes simplex virus-based oncolytic vectors for cancer therapy. Under Dr Tufaro’s direction, NeuroVir and then MediGene were able to initiate and complete the first Phase I/II US clinical trials of two herpes-based oncolytic viruses for the treatment of malignant brain tumors, and the treatment of colorectal cancer metastatic to the liver. He currently serves on scientific advisory boards for several biotech companies.