Quest PharmaTech Announces Positive Results from Phase I Clinical Trial of its Photodynamic Therapy for Actinic Keratosis

TSX Venture: QPT

Jun 02, 2008, 01:00 ET from Quest PharmaTech Inc.

    EDMONTON, June 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Quest PharmaTech Inc. (TSX-V:
 QPT), ("Quest" or the "Company"), today announced that its 12-patient,
 Phase I clinical study entitled "ACP-SL017 Topical Gel: A Phase I Study for
 the Photodynamic Therapy of Actinic Keratosis" has met both its primary and
 exploratory objectives.
     "We are delighted to have received, for the first time, clinical
 validation for our SonoLight Technology in a dermatological application,"
 said Madi R. Madiyalakan, CEO of Quest. "Actinic Keratosis is a
 pre-cancerous skin condition usually caused by prolonged accumulated sun
 exposure which can progress to squamous cell carcinoma, a potentially
 life-threatening form of skin cancer, unless treated by a dermatologist or
 other physician. This trial successfully demonstrated that cutaneous
 photodynamic therapy (PDT) with SL017 appears safe and is well tolerated.
 In addition, our unique approach is designed to overcome some of the
 limitations associated with other commercially available PDT treatments for
 Actinic Keratosis."
     Actinic Keratosis has a global incidence of approximately 10 to 15% in
 the Caucasian population and the American Medical Association estimates the
 U.S. market for the treatment of Actinic Keratosis to be about US $250
     The primary objective of the Phase I study, which was conducted in
 Canada, was to determine the cutaneous and systemic toxicity of the
 topically-applied photoactive drug, SL017, with and without
 photoactivation. The exploratory objective was to evaluate the efficacy of
 SL017 with and without photoactivation in the treatment of Actinic
 Keratosis. The study parameters employed included physician clinical
 assessment, patient symptomatic assessment, skin photography, blood
 chemistry, urinalysis, electrocardiogram and skin biopsy. The study was
 conducted at clinical sites in Edmonton and Montreal.
     The study met all the objectives addressing the clinical safety
 endpoints. There were no observed clinically relevant adverse events
 associated with the treatment at all the concentrations (0 to 40 mg of
 SL017) and light doses (10 to 20 joules/cm(2)) administered. The light
 treatment, conveniently administered in a dermatology clinic, was well
 tolerated. The therapeutic potential of SL017 was evidenced by the expected
 (PDT) effects, such as redness, edema, occasional blisters, stinging and
 burning. The clinical correlates of dyskeratosis and inflammation were
 likewise appropriately noted on skin biopsy. Clinical and pathological
 results correlated very well, and conformed not only to the expected
 effects of PDT but also to the dosage of the drug and light energy
 administered. The study suggests that a 2% topical formulation of SL017 and
 a fluence of 20 joules/cm (2) provide expected PDT outcomes. Importantly,
 this Phase I study did not identify any safety concerns with respect to the
 parameters evaluated at the dosages of drug and light employed.
     "I am encouraged by the confirmation of the topical PDT effects of
 SL017 and its potential for future applications in a variety of
 dermatological conditions including Actinic Keratosis," commented Dr.
 Gilles Lauzon, former Director, Division of Dermatology, University of
 Alberta and one of the investigators of the study.
     The potential applications of cutaneous PDT also include acne, rosacea,
 superficial skin cancers, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, localized scleroderma,
 warts, leishmaniasis and skin rejuvenation. Quest has already shown the
 follicular uptake of SL017 in humans; and is currently conducting a
 90-patient trial addressing potential hair removal applications with
 results anticipated by end of this year. The Company is also evaluating the
 utility of SL017 for the treatment of acne in a preclinical model.
     Paramount Biosciences, a global pharmaceutical and healthcare
 investment firm, has exclusive rights to develop and commercialize SL017
 for dermatology-related applications outside Canada. Paramount Biosciences
 is conducting Investigational New Drug-enabling pre-clinical studies to
 initiate a clinical trial for dermatology applications that will meet U.S.
 Food and Drug Administration requirements for one or more indications.
 Quest will coordinate with Paramount Biosciences for the further
 development of SL017.
     Quest is also pleased to announce that it has retained The Equicom
 Group Inc. (Equicom) to provide the Company with strategic investor
 relations and corporate communications services. Under the terms of the
 agreement, Quest will pay Equicom a monthly retainer fee of $5,000 for
 professional services. The initial contract term is 12 months. Neither
 Equicom nor any of its principals has an ownership interest, directly or
 indirectly, in Quest or its securities, and Quest has not granted Equicom
 or its principals any right to acquire such an interest. Equicom is a
 wholly-owned subsidiary of TSX Group Inc. Equicom provides strategic
 communications services to more than 100 public companies across a diverse
 range of industries. For further information about Equicom, please visit
     About Quest PharmaTech Inc.
     Quest PharmaTech is a publicly traded (TSX Venture Exchange: QPT),
 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 SonoLight photodynamic and sonodynamic therapy platform.
     TSX Venture Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved of the
     information contained herein.

SOURCE Quest PharmaTech Inc.