EDMONTON, May 02, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Quest PharmaTech Inc. ("Quest" or the "Company") Quest is pleased to provide an update on the pre-clinical development of SL052 for the treatment of prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men with approximately 230,000 new cases and 30,000 deaths per year. Current therapeutic modalities for localized prostate cancer are associated with significant morbidity, such as sexual and urinary dysfunction. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a minimally invasive treatment that may be used in benign and malignant prostate diseases. PDT is a dual selective treatment modality using light of a specific wavelength to locally activate a photosensitizer accumulated in the target tissue. This novel therapy causes a non-carcinogenic photochemical destruction of cancer cells, including those that are resistant to radiation and chemotherapy.
Quest's innovative Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) prostate cancer treatment system utilizes our patented Sonolight Technology, our proprietary and potent Hypocrellin based photosensitizer, SL052, with a novel intra-arterial drug delivery system and state of the art laser device that delivers pulsed light. Pre-clinical studies in small and large animals have demonstrated the effectiveness of SL052 in selective destruction of normal and cancerous prostate tissues, with minimal side effects. The use of 18 F FDG (flurodeoxy glucose) PET imaging pre and post PDT treatment, highlighted the complete shut down of metabolic activity at the tumor site 24 hours after PDT treatment.
The practical application of this new PDT treatment system on the prostate gland has also been demonstrated using a canine prostate model. The intra-arterial drug delivery system allows the selective and significant accumulation of the photosensitizer in the prostate which is ea sily confirmed by fluorescence detection. PDT treatment of the prostate gland causes complete glandular tissue ablation within the intact capsule. Sexual and urological functions appear to be intact after the treatment with some acute voiding difficulties observed within the first few days.
Based on the exciting pre-clinical results, Quest will be compiling a pre-IND package, including chemical and manufacturing, toxicology, pharmacology and clinical protocol, and seek a pre-IND meeting with regulatory authorities as we progress this technology towards human clinical trials.
"We are very excited about the treatment results, and its potential as a first line therapy for prostate cancer. This warrants further testing of this new technology in a clinical setting," said Dr. Ron Moore, Professor of Surgery and Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Alberta and Cross Cancer Institute.
SL052 for the treatment of prostate cancer is being developed in collaborations with Dr. Ron Moore and Dr. Jimmy Xiao of the Alberta Cancer Board, Dr. John Tulip at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Alberta and Dr. Dwayne Dickey, with support from the Alberta Ingenuity Fund and the National Research Council Canada, Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).
The Company's lead photodynamic therapy product, SL017, is a topical formulation indicated for dermatology applications. The utility of SL017 has already been demonstrated for hair removal applications in a Phase I clinical trial. In Jan 2007, the Company initiated a fifty patient pivotal clinical trial for the same indications. In addition, SL017 is currently undergoing a Canadian Phase I clinical trial for Actinic Keratosis.
About Quest PharmaTech Inc.
The Corporation is a publicly traded , Alberta-based drug development company committed to the development and commercialization of new pharmaceutical products. It is developing a series of products for the treatment of cance r and dermatological conditions based on its unique photodynamic and sonodynamic therapy platform.
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