Ecopia BioSciences Inc.

Ecopia BioSciences Inc.

January 11, 2007 14:50 ET

Ecopia's Phase I Dose-Escalation Portion Successfully Completed

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 11, 2007) - Ecopia BioSciences Inc. (TSX:EIA) is pleased to announce the successful completion of the first portion, dose-escalation, of its Phase I clinical trial for ECO-4601, the Company's lead anticancer drug candidate. The completion of this milestone allows Ecopia to initiate the second portion of its clinical trial, the extension Phase.

During the dose-escalation portion of this Phase I trial, ECO-4601 was administered to 14 patients in doses up to 480 mg/m2/day, the maximum dose set as per the protocol, since no dose limiting toxicity was observed. Ecopia's extension portion, which could involve up to 15 patients, is being initiated and should be completed by the end of Q2-07. The Company recently opened an additional clinical site at the Charles LeMoyne Hospital, on Montreal's South Shore, where Dr. Benoit Samson will be the Principal Investigator. Clinical results for both portions of this trial will be released when compiled data is audited.

"We are very excited with the fact that no dose-limiting toxicity was observed in the first portion of the trial" said Dr. Pierre Falardeau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ecopia. "This is clearly a key advantage in developing a novel oncology drug such as ECO-4601" he added.

In April of last year, Ecopia's Phase I clinical trial involving ECO-4601 was initiated at the Clinical Research Unit of the Sir Mortimer B. Davis - Jewish General Hospital. Dr. Gerald Batist is the Study Chair with Dr. Petr Kavan as the site's Principal Investigator. This trial involves 21-day cycles wherein different patients receive a specified dose of compound via continuous infusion using ambulatory pumps for 14 days, followed by a 7-day rest period. Ecopia's Phase I trial includes brain, breast, prostate, ovarian, lung, colon or pancreatic cancer patients refractory to the current standard of care. The purpose of this trial is dose-selection and evaluation of safety and tolerability of ECO-4601, as well as determination of clinical pharmacokinetics.

About Ecopia

Ecopia is finding novel anticancer therapies from microorganisms, one of the most prolific sources of drugs. Our current focus is to move our lead compound, ECO-4601, through the different stages of its Phase I clinical trial. ECO-4601 is a novel small molecule with a dual mechanism of action. Not only does the compound inhibit the RAS-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway at a strategic point, it also selectively binds to the Peripheral Benzodiazepine Receptor (PBR), a receptor highly expressed in many cancer cells. This dual activity positions the compound as a uniquely targeted anticancer drug candidate. Like well-known chemotherapies such as doxorubicin and mitomycin C, ECO-4601 comes from a non-pathogenic microorganism. However, unlike these drugs that were discovered decades ago, ECO-4601 is the fruit of a unique drug discovery platform called the DECIPHER® technology and represents a new chemical class, from which many analogs are being synthesized.

The common shares of Ecopia are listed on the TSX (symbol: EIA).

Additional information about the Company can be obtained from Ecopia's website at

Certain statements in this press release that do not relate exclusively to historical facts are forward-looking statements. These statements represent the Company's current expectations regarding future events. These forward-looking statements, including the expected timing and progress through the Phase I clinical trial, and the potential of ECO-4601 as a cancer therapeutic in regards to specific cancers such as brain, breast, prostate, ovarian, lung, colon and pancreatic cancers, are based on data from preclinical animal studies and are therefore subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside Ecopia's control. Actual results may therefore vary materially from the expectations expressed by the Company and depend on a number of factors, including the efficacy of ECO-4601 in treating specific cancers in human patients, the successful recruitment of patients and the timely completion of clinical trials, the availability of funds and resources to pursue development of ECO-4601 and the impact of general economic conditions. Investors are cautioned against placing undue reliance on forward-looking statements or forward-looking information. These forward-looking statements or forward-looking information should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to the date the statements were originally made or information originally provided. A more complete discussion of the risks and uncertainties facing the Company appears in Ecopia's 2005 Annual Report under Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Position and Results of Operations for fiscal 2005 and the 2005 Annual Information Form available at Except as required by law, Ecopia does not undertake and disclaims any obligation to update or revise its forward looking statements or forward looking information whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

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