April 23, 2008, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada--Quest PharmaTech, which is actively involved in clinical trials for various photodynamic therapy applications, will receive additional funding from the National Research Council toward 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 SDT applications. Technology development will also include new formulations involving nanoparticles and development of unique ultrasound transducers. 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.
"It is the strategy of this company to add value to its oncology program by expanding the utility of Hypocrellin-based products for immuno PDT and SDT applications", said Dr. Madi R. Madiyalakan, CEO of Quest. "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."