Quest PharmaTech Receives Support from National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) to develop Ultrasound Technology for the Treatment of Cancer
EDMONTON, April 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Quest PharmaTech Inc. ("Quest" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it will receive generous support from NRC-IRAP towards the development of Quest's Sonodynamic Therapy (SDT) for oncology applications. Sonodynamic Therapy arises out of the Company's long-term interest in Hypocrellin-based photodynamic therapy for oncology and skin diseases. The Company's lead compound, SL017, with Intense Pulse Light is currently being evaluated for hair removal applications in a 90 patient Phase II clinical trial. A second product, SL052, in combination with laser light activation is in late-stage pre-clinical development for prostate cancer treatment and is scheduled to enter a Phase I clinical trial during the second half of 2008. Both products can also be activated by ultrasound. SDT involves the administration of non-toxic pharmaceutical agents which may be activated deep within the body, by ultrasound, which is in itself non-toxic. The attractive features of this technology for cancer treatment emerges from the ability to focus the ultrasound energy on malignancy sites buried deep in tissues and to locally activate a preloaded sonosensitizer. The goal of SDT is to provide effective and specific eradication or control of tumors, while minimizing or eliminating toxicity and morbidity to the remainder of the patient. Financial support of up to $198,362 from NRC/IRAP will help the Company to obtain proof-of-concept for the use of its proprietary Hypocrellin-based compounds for Sonodynamic Therapy applications. Technology development will also include new formulations involving nanoparticles and development of unique ultrasound transducers. In addition to the financial support, IRAP will continue to play an advisory role in acquiring complementary technologies to commercialize SDT-based products. The overall program will be coordinated by Dr. Gerald Miller, Executive Consultant to the Company and former Research Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta. "It is the strategy of the Company to add value to its oncology program by expanding the utility of Hypocrellin-based products for Immuno Photodynamic Therapy and Sonodynamic Therapy applications", said Dr. Madi R. Madiyalakan, CEO of the Company. "The current funding from NRC/IRAP, and recently signed collaborative research agreement with British Columbia Cancer Agency will help us accomplish that objective in an efficient manner", added Dr. Madiyalakan. The Company also announces that it has retained the consulting services of Dr. Graeme Boniface to help accelerate its clinical trial program. Dr. Boniface was previously Senior Director of Clinical research at QLT Inc. in Vancouver, where he led the clinical development of several photosensitizers for oncology indications. Dr. Boniface brings more than 25 years of experience in conducting clinical trials throughout the world. Additionally, the Company believes that its partnership with Paramount Biosciences for dermatology program will help achieve its long-term growth objectives, including additional clinical trials for dermatology applications. About Quest PharmaTech Inc: Quest PharmaTech Inc. is a publicly traded (TSX Venture Exchange: QPT), Alberta-based pharmaceutical company committed to build shareholder value through discovery, 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 contained herein."
SOURCE Quest PharmaTech Inc.
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