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Date: October 25, 2004

UVic Licenses Cancer Technology

The University of Victoria’s Innovation and Development Corporation (IDC) has signed an exclusive licence agreement with Protox Therapeutics Inc.—a UVic spinoff company which is developing cancer therapeutics—and Johns Hopkins University (JHU). The licence grants the publicly-traded Protox worldwide rights to commercialize a genetically modified Aerolysin protein developed by UVic and JHU as a targeted therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer.

The terms of the agreement include payment of an upfront licensing fee as well as milestone and royalty payments. Protox had earlier signed an exclusive option agreement with both institutions covering this intellectual property and has now exercised this option to obtain the worldwide licence.

“This agreement effectively secures the core intellectual property for our first product, called ‘PSA-PA1’ for the treatment of localized prostate cancer,” says Tazdin Esmail, Protox president and CEO. “We’re currently conducting preclinical studies on PSA-PA1 and anticipate filing an Investigational New Drug application with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in mid-2005 for clearance to initiate human trials. Data from the pre-clinical studies continue to suggest that PSA-PA1 may offer a compelling alternative for the treatment of prostate cancer.”

The principal inventors of the licensed intellectual property are Dr. Tom Buckley, a UVic biochemist and Protox’s chief scientific officer, and Drs. Sam Denmeade and John Isaacs, professors in the oncology department at Johns Hopkins University’s school of medicine. Based in Baltimore, Maryland, internationally renowned JHU was the first research university in the United States. JHU’s school of medicine is the largest recipient of National Institutes of Health funding in the United States.

“IDC—the agency responsible for commercializing technology developed at UVic— played a crucial early role in the birth of Protox,” says Dr. Buckley, “by providing assistance in protecting the technology and help in identifying the first investors”.

Protox is nearing proof of concept on a second product in development for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, in conjunction with UVic and the National Research Council Institute of Biological Sciences. Future areas for development include treatments for non Hodgkin’s lymphoma and breast cancer.

Media contacts:
Dr. Tom Buckley (Biochemistry and Microbiology) at (250) 721-7081 or tbuckley@uvic.ca
Terry Vanderkruyk (Director of Investor Relations, Protox) at (604) 688-4376, cell (604) 789-0844 or tvanderkruyk@protoxtherapeutics.com
Maria Lironi (UVic Communications) at (250) 721-6139 or lironim@uvic.ca

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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