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Sonus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SNUS) and OncoGenex Technologies Inc. Complete Business Combination



8/21/2008 8:10:20 AM

BOTHELL, WA, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (formerly Sonus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) (the "Company") announced that the Company has completed its acquisition of OncoGenex Technologies and NASDAQ has approved the commencement of trading in Company's common stock on The NASDAQ Capital Market under the stock symbol 'OGXI' effective today, August 21, 2008, when the market opens. Prior to completing the acquisition, the Company changed its name to OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, amended its authorized share capital and effected a one-for-eighteen reverse stock split.

"Clearly the shareholders of both companies, Sonus Pharmaceuticals and OncoGenex Technologies, strongly favored this transaction and our efforts to maintain a NASDAQ listing," said Scott Cormack, President and Chief Executive Officer of OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals. "On August 19th, a very strong percentage of Sonus' shareholders voted in favor of the transaction and voted in favor of a reverse stock split. One hundred percent of OncoGenex Technologies' shareholders voted in favor of the transaction."

Additionally, as announced on August 20th, the Company has implemented cost-saving measures to preserve cash while focusing on its highest potential product development programs. The Company will reduce workforce by approximately 49%. As a result of these actions, the Company will incur approximately $1.2 million in charges in the third quarter of 2008, associated with employee severance costs. Management estimates that the restructuring announced today extends the Company's current runway by an additional quarter. Following the restructuring, the Company will have 27 full and part-time employees. As of June 30, 2008, OncoGenex and Sonus on a combined basis held $26 million in cash, cash equivalents and short term investments.

"We have chosen to swiftly implement the restructuring we deem necessary to effectively utilize cash assets while maintaining the resources to advance our priority clinical programs," added Cormack. "We continue to retain a highly qualified clinical and regulatory team with impressive experience bringing oncology drug candidates to the FDA and to market."

The combined company has a strong oncology pipeline addressing distinct unmet needs in the treatment of cancer, including three candidates in various stages of clinical development. The Company's lead candidate, OGX-011, is being evaluated in five Phase 2 clinical trials, each of which has completed patient enrollment. Interim study results have previously been presented for each of the five clinical trials. Details on the pipeline follow:

About OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company committed to the development and commercialization of new cancer therapies that address unmet needs in the treatment of cancer. OncoGenex has a deep oncology pipeline, with each product candidate having a distinct mechanism of action and representing a unique opportunity for cancer drug development. OGX-011, the lead candidate currently completing five Phase 2 clinical studies in prostate, lung and breast cancers, is designed to inhibit the production of a specific protein associated with treatment resistance; OGX-427 and SN2310 are in Phase 1 clinical development; and CSP-9222 and OGX-225 are currently in pre-clinical development. More information is available at www.oncogenex.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements concerning the Company's common stock listing, restructuring, anticipated clinical and preclinical activities and product potential. These statements are based on management's current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. For example, statements of expected synergies, the strength of the combined oncology product pipeline, the timing of clinical trials and development efforts, the results of clinical and pre-clinical studies, the timing of closing, execution of integration plans and management and organizational structure are all forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the possibility that costs savings will not be achieved or that the Company is unable to successfully execute its integration strategy, the timing and costs of clinical trials and regulatory approvals, risks that clinical trials will not be successful, risks associated with obtaining funding from third parties or completing a financing necessary to support the costs and expenses of clinical studies as well as research and development activities, risks that the combined company will not be able to maintain listing on NASDAQ, as well as other risks relating to the development, safety and efficacy of therapeutic drugs and potential applications for these products. A more complete discussion of risks and uncertainties that may affect forward-looking statements is included in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal year 2007, and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the first quarter of 2008. No assurances can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur, or if any of them do so, what impact they will have on the results of operations or financial condition of the Company. The Company undertakes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements contained herein or to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date hereof.

CONTACT: OncoGenex Contact: Scott Cormack, President & CEO, (604)
630-5400, scormack@oncogenex.com; Investor and Media Contact: Jason Spark,
Porter Novelli Life Sciences, (619) 849-6005, jspark@pnlifesciences.com


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