Adherex Technologies Inc.

Adherex Technologies Inc.

March 14, 2005 08:03 ET

Adherex to Present at National Cancer Institute's Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program Early Drug Development Meeting


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: ADHEREX TECHNOLOGIES INC.

TSX SYMBOL: AHX
AMEX SYMBOL: ADH

MARCH 14, 2005 - 08:03 ET

Adherex to Present at National Cancer Institute's
Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program Early Drug
Development Meeting

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NORTH CAROLINA--(CCNMatthews - March 14, 2005) -
Adherex Technologies Inc. (AMEX:ADH)(TSX:AHX)

Adherex's Largest Shareholders Comment on Recently Announced NCI
Collaboration

Adherex Technologies Inc. (AMEX:ADH)(TSX:AHX), a biopharmaceutical
company with a broad portfolio of oncology products under development,
today announced that Chairman and CEO, William P. Peters MD, PhD, will
give a presentation on the Company's lead biotechnology compound ADH-1
(Exherin™) at the Spring 2005 National Cancer Institute's (NCI)
Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) Early Drug Development Meeting
later today.

"We are pleased that CTEP has included us in its Spring meeting of
investigators working with NCI-sponsored clinical trials," said Dr.
Peters. "This presentation provides an important opportunity to
introduce ADH-1 and the data from our Phase I trial to the physician
community who, as announced last week, could become future investigators
of NCI-sponsored trials of ADH-1."

"It is significant for Adherex that the NCI will bring its considerable
expertise in drug development and expansive scientific and financial
resources to bear on the development of ADH-1," Donald W. Kufe, MD,
Professor of Medicine, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Chairman of
Adherex's Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board, and Member of
Adherex's Board of Directors. "While Adherex is initially conducting
single agent studies of ADH-1 in its Phase Ib/II and Phase II studies,
this collaboration provides the opportunity for the NCI to expand
development of ADH-1 into combination studies. It is the NCI's mission
to ensure that novel anti-cancer agents, like ADH-1, with distinctive
molecular targets and mechanisms of action are identified and introduced
into clinical trials, and we are happy to be associated with the NCI's
preclinical and clinical programs."

Two of the Company's largest shareholders also commented on the recent
announcement that the Drug Development Group (DDG) of the U.S. NCI's
Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis has approved a Level III
collaboration with Adherex on the clinical development of ADH-1. Level
III is the highest level of collaboration with the NCI and provides for
both preclinical and clinical development programs.

"We are extremely pleased that the NCI has agreed to evaluate ADH-1 in
its extensive clinical trials network," said Erich Platzer, Ph.D.,
Investment Advisor, HBM Partners AG, advisor to Adherex's largest
institutional investor. "We understand that the NCI is very selective in
which drugs it chooses to evaluate. In our opinion, ADH-1 is an
important novel drug with the potential to improve treatment for a
variety of cancers, and we are happy to see the NCI recognizing this
potential."

"This collaboration, with one of the world's foremost agencies for
cancer research and training, is an important validation of the
promising nature of ADH-1," said Luc Marengere, Ph.D., Managing General
Partner, VenGrowth Private Equity Partners Inc., Adherex's second
largest institutional investor. "From our perspective, this
collaboration provides the opportunity to complement and potentially
expedite the development of ADH-1."

About Adherex Technologies

Adherex Technologies Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to
the discovery and development of novel cancer therapeutics. We aim to be
a leader in developing innovative treatments that address important
unmet medical needs in cancer. We currently have four products in the
clinical stage of development including ADH-1 (Exherin™) and sodium
thiosulfate (STS). ADH-1, our lead biotechnology compound, is an
angiolytic that selectively targets established blood vessels that feed
solid tumors. STS, a drug from our specialty pharmaceuticals pipeline,
protects against the disabling hearing loss that can often result from
treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy drugs. With a diversified
portfolio of unique preclinical and clinical-stage cancer compounds and
a management team with expertise in identifying, developing and
commercializing novel cancer therapeutics, Adherex is emerging as a
pioneering oncology company. For more information, please visit our
website at www.adherex.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve
significant risks and uncertainties. The actual results, performance or
achievements of the Company might differ materially from the results,
performance or achievements of the Company expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include,
without limitation, those regarding the clinical development plans of
the Company, both alone and through collaborations, as well as the
expected benefits, timing and results. We can provide no assurance that
the clinical development will proceed as currently anticipated or that
expected benefits, timing or results will be realized. We are subject to
risks inherent in the biopharmaceutical industry, including the early
stage of our product candidates, the uncertainties of clinical trials
and regulatory review, our reliance on collaborations and our history of
losses. For a more detailed discussion of related risk factors, please
refer to our public filings available at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov.

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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Adherex Technologies Inc.
    Melissa Matson
    Director, Corporate Communications
    (919) 484-8484
    matsonm@adherex.com