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Posted: March 18, 2009

Quest PharmaTech and IntelligentNano in Alliance to Develop Nanotechnology-Based Cancer Treatments

(Nanowerk News) Quest PharmaTech Inc., a pharmaceutical company developing and commercializing products for the treatment of cancer and dermatological conditions, today announced that it has formed a strategic alliance with IntelligentNano Inc. and, as a result of the alliance, the two groups have created a water soluble nano-formulation of Quest's SL052 technology, which has the potential to address a wider range of clinical needs than Quest's current formulation of SL052.
"We have successfully used nanoparticles to make SL052 water soluble while maintaining the biological activity of the drug, whether activated by light or ultrasound," said Dr. Jie Chen, Chief Technology Officer for IntelligentNano, a spin-off company from the Canadian National Research Council's National Institute for Nanotechnology.
"The fulfillment of a second tier of targetable, water-soluble nano-formulations of the SonoLight compounds represents major progress in the adaptation of Hypocrellin-based photodynamic and sonodynamic therapy to a wide spectrum of clinical needs including cancer treatment," stated Dr. Madi R. Madiyalakan, Chief Executive Officer at Quest.
The alliance between Quest and IntelligentNano was forged to explore the potential of nanotechnology to provide a multiplicity of biocompatible drug delivery systems for clinical applications of Quest's proprietary SonoLight technology platform. Current SonoLight photosensitizer and sonosensitizer formulations are based upon liposomal drug delivery systems which target the drug to the desired sites of photodynamic or sonodynamic therapies. Quest intends to initiate a series of preclinical studies with these new formulations and arrive at a clinical plan for Quest's second cancer indication.
The results from the product development initiative will be presented at the prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. /National Institute of Health conference (IEEE/NIH) to be held on April 9, 2009 at the National Institute of Health in Maryland, USA.
The strategic alliance between Quest and IntelligentNano was made possible by financial and strategic support from the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).
Quest also announced today that it has received a one-year extension for the repayment of its $500,000 convertible debenture. The repayment of the debenture, which is exercisable at $0.25 per common share, was originally due on March 22, 2009. Payment is now due on March 22, 2010.
About the SonoLight Platform
SL017 and SL052 represent members of Quest's SonoLight Portfolio with the potential to reduce or eliminate the side effects associated with currently available cancer treatment modalities: surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Their properties of activation with harmless physical agents (light or ultrasound), combined with their ability to generate cancer vaccines and stimulate an anti-cancer immune response, warrant further development in a broad-spectrum oncology arena. Quest intends to initiate a Phase I trial to evaluate SL052 as a localized treatment for prostate cancer. Development of second generation drug delivery systems provides greater flexibility with regards to treatment of a wide variety of diseases throughout the body.
Source: Quest PharmaTech (press release)