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OncoGenex Pharma Outlines Plans for Beginning Borealis-2 Clinical Trial Evaluating OGX-427 in Combination with Second-Line Therapy for Bladder Cancer

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OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: OGXI) today announced plans for the initiation of the Borealis-2 clinical trial, an investigator-sponsored, randomized, controlled Phase 2 study evaluating OGX-427 in patients with advanced or metastatic bladder cancer who have disease progression following initial platinum-based chemotherapy treatment. The trial, which is the fourth Phase 2 study of OGX-427 in a genitourinary (GU) cancer, will investigate if combining OGX-427 with docetaxel, a standard option in salvage treatment for metastatic bladder cancer, improves survival compared to docetaxel alone.

"Bladder cancer is often sensitive to chemotherapy in the first-line setting, but, when patients relapse, resistance to chemotherapy is frequent," stated Jonathan Rosenberg MD, Associate Physician, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and one of the primary investigators on the study. "This trial will evaluate the potential of OGX-427 to work synergistically with second- or third-line chemotherapy to overcome treatment resistance and prolong survival in patients with advanced bladder cancer."

Limited options exist for both the first- and second-line treatment of advanced bladder cancer. Currently, first-line platinum-based chemotherapy regimens result in a median overall survival of approximately 12-15 months. Docetaxel is commonly used in second-line treatment, with a reported median overall survival of approximately six months. Given acquired treatment resistance and these short survival times, there continues to be a high unmet need for additional therapeutic options for this patient population.

OGX-427 is designed to inhibit Heat Shock Protein 27 (HSP27), a cell-survival protein found at elevated levels in many human cancers including prostate, bladder, breast and non-small cell lung cancer. Overexpression of Hsp27 is thought to be an important factor leading to the development of treatment resistance and is associated with negative clinical outcomes in patients with various tumor types. 

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