Quest PharmaTech Announces Interim Results from Phase I/II Clinical Trial for Photodynamic Treatment for Hair Removal

TSX Venture: QPT

Jun 25, 2008, 01:00 ET from Quest PharmaTech Inc.

    EDMONTON, June 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Quest PharmaTech Inc.
 (TSX-V: QPT), ("Quest" or the "Company"), today announced interim results
 from its Phase I/II clinical study designed to investigate appropriate
 treatment parameters for the potential use of its proprietary compound
 SL017 for hair removal applications. The interim results represent data
 from the first 80 patients enrolled in the targeted 100-patient clinical
     "The Phase I/II interim results demonstrated that SL017 is safe and
 well tolerated when used either alone or in combination with photo
 activation," said Madi Madiyalakan, Chief Executive Officer of Quest.
 "These results, along with results from the previous clinical trial,
 support the utility of SL017 for hair removal applications, especially for
 those who do not benefit from light treatment alone."
     To permanently remove unwanted hair, existing laser hair removal
 techniques require four to eight treatments, and provide only a 75 to 85
 percent permanent hair reduction in a limited patient population. The
 professional laser hair removal market is estimated to be $5 billion
     Quest is developing SL017 photodynamic therapy (PDT) as a potential
 hair removal solution that is effective across a broad patient population
 including those with light colored hair (for example, grey or blonde hair).
 In a Phase I clinical trial, Quest demonstrated the preferential
 localization of SL017 in hair follicles, which suggested that cutaneous PDT
 with SL017 has potential for permanent hair removal applications.
     The Phase I/II trial of SL017 was designed to evaluate the effect of
 skin treatment on follicular uptake of SL017, assess the tolerable light
 dose on healthy subjects, and subsequently, determine the efficacy of hair
 removal under optimal treatment conditions. Results from this study will be
 used to guide the design of future clinical development.
     Skin Pretreatment and Follicular Uptake
     Thirty healthy subjects were enrolled to evaluate the efficacy of five
 different skin preparation techniques to enhance the follicular
 localization of SL017. One of the five skin pretreatments demonstrated a
 statistically significant improvement in both the intensity of follicular
 uptake of SL017 and the depth of penetration of SL017 in the hair follicle
 compared to the other skin pretreatments.
     Light Dose Escalation
     Forty subjects with dark colored hair and 10 subjects with light
 colored hair were enrolled to evaluate the safety and efficacy of combining
 SL017 with increasing doses of Intense Pulse Light (IPL) ranging from
 4.5J/cm(2) to 20.0J/cm(2). No skin pretreatment technique was used. No
 unexpected side effects were observed at any of the light doses tested. A
 hair count was taken at days 0 and 42 in each population. There was no
 statistically significant improvement in hair count reduction observed in
 the subjects treated with SL017 PDT compared to IPL treatment alone at any
 of the IPL doses or in either of the two hair populations studied. However,
 25% of the dark colored hair population, or 10 subjects, that were
 non-responsive to IPL treatment demonstrated a statistically significant
 reduction in hair count when treated with SL017 PDT.
     Hair Removal Efficacy Under Optimal Conditions
     Quest is currently enrolling 20 additional patients, 10 with dark
 colored hair and 10 with light colored hair, to evaluate the efficacy of
 SL017 PDT compared to IPL at the optimal light dose and after skin
 pretreatment. The 20 subjects with light colored hair enrolled in the trial
 will also undergo two SL017 PDT treatments. The hair growth of these
 patients will be monitored for up to six months. Results from this part of
 the study are anticipated by end of 2008.
     "Based on the results we receive from these clinical studies in hair
 removal and the preclinical work we are currently conducting for the
 treatment of acne, we intend to advance SL017 PDT for one or more clinical
 indications," stated Thomas Woo, M.Sc., Vice President for Drug Development
 of Quest.
     The Principal Investigator for Quest's Phase I/II hair removal trial is
 Dr. Robert Bissonnette, M.D., President of Innovaderm Research in Montreal.
     About SL017: SL017 is a proprietary, non-toxic drug that, once applied
 to a target area and activated by light, is transformed into a potent
 cytotoxic agent that selectively destroys targeted tissue. Using this
 process, known as photodynamic therapy (PDT), SL017 can be applied to treat
 a variety of skin conditions, including hair removal, actinic keratosis and
 acne. The safety and potential utility of SL017 for the treatment of
 actinic keratosis has been demonstrated in a Phase I Clinical Study.
     About Quest PharmaTech Inc.: Quest is a publicly traded, Alberta-based
 pharmaceutical company committed to the development and commercialization
 of new pharmaceutical products. It is developing a series of products for
 the treatment of cancer and dermatological conditions based on its unique
 photodynamic and sonodynamic therapy platform.
     "TSX Venture Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved of the
     information herein."

SOURCE Quest PharmaTech Inc.