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Posted: Nov 29, 2011
Quest PharmaTech Announces Development of Second Generation Photodynamic Therapy Products for the Treatment of Cancer based on Nanotechnology
(Nanowerk News) Quest PharmaTech Inc., a biotechnology company developing and commercializing products for the treatment of cancer, today announced the acceptance for publication of a research paper entitled "Antitumor Efficacy of Photodynamic Therapy Using Novel Nanoformulations of Hypocrellin Photosensitizer SL052", in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology.
The paper highlighted the results from a research study conducted by scientists from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon and the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver, comparing the anti-tumor effect of Quest's photosensitizer, SL052, in a novel nano-formulution with other previously developed formulations for photodynamic therapy. The results demonstrated the superior antitumor effect of the new nanoparticle formulation over another nano-formulation which was previously developed by the Company in collaboration with IntelligentNano, an Edmonton based private company. The results from that study were previously published in the journal of Nanomedicine titled "Water-Soluble and Biocompatible Sono/Photosensitizer Nanoparticles for Enhanced Cancer Therapy".
The Company has filed patent applications for both of these formulations; and has initiated a preclinical program to explore their utility for intravenous delivery of Quest's proprietary SL052 photosensitizer for the treatment of gastrointestinal cancer. This second generation photodynamic therapy product will complement the Company's ongoing prostate cancer treatment program that utilizes SL052 with a novel intra-arterial drug delivery system.
In another study completed by University of Alberta scientists, the mechanism of action of the Company's novel hypocrellin based photo/sono-sensitizer was examined and published in a paper titled "Sonodynamic and Photodynamic Mechanisms of Action of the Novel Hypocrellin Sonosensitizer; SL017: Mitochondrial Cell Death is Attenuated by 11, 12-Epoxyeicosatrienoic Acid" in the Journal of Investigational New Drugs.
"These new studies conducted by external researchers and published in peer reviewed scientific journals show that this new nanoparticle formulation of SL052 enhances the delivery of our photosensitizer to the target area and can be utilized for various indications thereby expanding the potential application of our proprietary drug and formulations to treat a variety of cancers", said Thomas Woo, Vice President of Product Development at Quest.
About Quest PharmaTech Inc.
Quest is a publicly traded, Alberta-based biotechnology company committed to the development and commercialization of oncology product candidates. It is developing a series of products for the treatment of cancer based on its pipeline of SonoLight compounds, and monoclonal antibodies that target certain tumor antigens that are presented in a variety of cancers. Quest believes that by combining these antibodies with other cancer therapies such as chemotherapy or photodynamic therapy, it can potentially further complement and enhance treatment outcomes compared to antibody treatment alone.
The Company's lead product candidate, Oregovomab, an immunotherapeutic product for the treatment of ovarian cancer is currently undergoing a multi-center Phase IIb clinical trial in Italy. This is the first of three carefully planned proof-of-concept clinical trials to establish the superiority of combinatorial immunotherapy either with front-line chemotherapy consisting of carboplatin/paclitaxel in ovarian cancer, gemcitabine in pancreatic cancer, or with the addition of an immunoadjuvant. The Company hopes that successful results from these studies will lead to the design of a definitive product registration study.