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Adherex to Present Final ADH-1 Phase I Data at ASCO 2006 Annual Meeting


June 5, 2006

- - Oral presentation highlights importance of switch from E-cadherin to N-cadherin as cancers progress - -

Atlanta, Georgia, - - Adherex Technologies Inc. (AMEX:ADH, TSX:AHX), a biopharmaceutical company with a broad portfolio of oncology products under development, today announced that Dr. David Stewart, MD, Professor of Medicine, Chief, Section of Lung Cancer Experimental Therapeutics, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and investigator for the study, will be presenting final data from Adherex’s Phase I study of the molecularly targeted anti-cancer drug, ADH-1, at the 2006 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, a major international cancer conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The data will be presented today as an oral abstract presentation during the Developmental Therapeutics: Molecular Therapeutics session [Abstract No. 3016, 10:15 a.m. ET].

Data will be presented on 46 patients who received an aggregate of 99 doses of ADH-1 with doses ranging from 50 mg/m2 to 1000 mg/m2. As previously reported, ADH-1 was well tolerated and demonstrated evidence of anti-tumor activity in four patients with advanced, chemotherapy-resistant cancer; one of these patients achieving a rapid and durable partial response, defined as a confirmed reduction of at least 50% in tumor size, which continued for nine months from initiation on study. A maximum tolerated dose was not defined. The presentation will also include a discussion of the significance of “cadherin switching” as a feature of advanced or aggressive cancers.

Dr. Stewart noted, “Over the last few years, there has been an increasing recognition of the importance of cadherin switching in the progression of cancer. Cadherin switching is a phenomenon in which there are changes in cadherin expression profiles on tumor cells as the cancer progresses. In many cancers, this is characterized by downregulation of E-cadherin on tumor cells simultaneous with upregulation of N-cadherin. This change confers survival, invasive and metastatic properties to cancer cells; these are hallmarks of the malignant transformation process.”

Dr. William P. Peters, MD, PhD, Chairman and CEO of Adherex said, “ADH-1 targets N-cadherin, suggesting that ADH-1 could be active at a critical switch point in cancer progression. I believe this places us in an important and newly developing ‘sweet spot’ of oncology therapy. ASCO’s selection of our Phase I study to be presented orally by Dr. Stewart as part of a larger discussion on molecularly-targeted therapies by Dr. Calvin Kuo, MD, PhD, Stanford University, provides Adherex with significant exposure at this major international meeting.”

Adherex’s clinical development program for ADH-1 includes an ongoing single agent Phase II trial, which is evaluating the anti-tumor activity and tolerability of repeated doses of ADH-1 at six sites in Canada and one site in the U.S., with additional U.S. sites to be added. That study, which is anticipated to complete in the second half of 2006, is expected to enroll an aggregate of 100 patients with lung, esophageal, adrenocortical, kidney or liver cancers whose tumors express the molecular target, N-cadherin. The Company is also conducting a Phase Ib/II single agent study of ADH-1 in Europe. That study, which has recently completed its Phase Ib portion, is now focusing on patients with N-cadherin positive ovarian or lung cancer. In addition, Adherex plans to expand the ADH-1 development program by evaluating ADH-1 in combination with other cancer therapies, with Phase I/II trials expected to begin in mid 2006.

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 multiple products in the clinical stage of development, including ADH-1 (Exherin™), eniluracil and sodium thiosulfate (STS). ADH-1, our lead biotechnology compound, selectively targets N-cadherin, a protein present on certain tumor cells and established blood vessels that feed solid tumors. Eniluracil, an oral dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) inhibitor, was previously under development by GlaxoSmithKline for oncology indications. 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

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 development plans of the Company and the expected timing and results of such development. We can provide no assurance that such development will proceed as currently anticipated or that the expected timing or results of such development will be realized. We are subject to various risks, including the uncertainties of clinical trials, drug development and regulatory review, other risks inherent in the biopharmaceutical industry, the early stage of our product candidates, our reliance on collaborative partners, our need for additional capital to fund our operations, and our history of losses. For a more detailed discussion of related risk factors, please refer to our public filings available at and

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For further information, please contact:

Melissa Matson
Director, Corporate Communications
Adherex Technologies Inc.
T: (919) 484-8484


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