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Oxford Biomedica PLC (OXB)

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Monday 16 October, 2000

Oxford Biomedica PLC

Ethical Approval for Trovax

Oxford Biomedica PLC
16 October 2000


For further information, please contact:       
Oxford BioMedica plc       
Professor Alan Kingsman, Chief Executive       Tel: +44 (0)1865 783 000
City/Financial Enquiries:
David Simonson/Melanie Toyne Sewell
Merlin Financial Communications                Tel: +44 (0)20 7606 1244
Scientific/Trade Press Enquiries:
Sue Charles/Chris Gardner, HCC.De Facto Group  Tel:  +44 (0)20 7496 3300

OXFORD BIOMEDICA OBTAINS ETHICAL APPROVAL FOR TROVAX(TM)
TO ENTER TRIALS FOR COLORECTAL CANCER.

Oxford BioMedica announced today that it had received ethical approval from
the UK Gene Therapy Advisory Committee ('GTAC') for its therapeutic cancer
vaccine, TroVax(TM), to enter phase I/II clinical trials in patients suffering
from colorectal cancer. The trials are planned to start at the end of the
year.

TroVax(TM) is designed to stimulate a patient's immune system to recognise and
destroy cancer cells. The product is based on a gene that encodes a protein
that exists only on the surface of tumour cells and not on normal cells - such
proteins are known as Tumour Associated Antigens (TAAs). When this gene is
expressed by Oxford BioMedica's highly engineered virus-based delivery system,
it induces a potent anti-tumour response. This means that cells and antibodies
of the immune system seek out the tumour cells carrying TAA and destroy them.

Commenting on GTAC's approval Chief Executive, Alan Kingsman said 
'We are delighted with this decision by GTAC. This is the third BioMedica
protocol that has been approved by the Committee and we are pleased to be
establishing a good track record of approvable products. The preclinical data
with TroVax(TM) are very promising suggesting that the product may be useful
in a wide range of tumour types.  We are fully aware that treating tumours in
preclinical models is not the same as treating tumours in human beings. 
However we are optimistic about the future of this product.' 

Andrew Wood, BioMedica's finance director commented 
'This is not only a major technical and commercial step for the Company, but
it also represents a key development in our satisfying the London Stock
Exchange's Chapter 20 rules for admission to the Official List, with respect
to two products in clinical trials. We are on course to move up from the
Alternative Investment Market early next year as long as market conditions are
appropriate'.


Notes to Editors
1. Oxford BioMedica 
Established in 1995, the Company specialises in the development and
application of gene-based therapeutics using advanced gene delivery
technologies for the treatment of disease in the areas of oncology, viral
infection and neurodegenerative disease. Oxford BioMedica plc was floated on
the UK Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange in December
1996. 

2. Gene Therapy Advisory Committee
The Gene Therapy Advisory Committee evaluates gene therapy trial protocols on
the basis of the quality of the science, the details of the clinical protocol
and ethical considerations.  GTAC comprises technical experts and lay members.
 

Following GTAC approval, clinical trial protocols and the products used by
them are then reviewed by the Medicines Control Agency (MCA).  On approval by
the MCA, the products can be entered for clinical trials.


This release is also available on the World Wide Web at:
http://www.oxfordbiomedica.co.uk