Blood testing requirements removed
VANCOUVER, June 6 /CNW/ - QLT Inc. (NASDAQ: QLTI; TSX: QLT) announced
today that Health Canada has completed its review of QLT USA, Inc.'s labeling
supplement (SNDS) for Aczone(R) and has removed the glucose-6-phosphate
dehydrogenase (G6PD) screening and blood monitoring requirements.
"We are extremely pleased to report Health Canada's decision to remove
the need for blood monitoring from the Aczone label," said Bob Butchofsky,
President and Chief Executive Officer of QLT. "This positive review, along
with the FDA's recent decision to also remove the need for blood monitoring
from the Aczone label, validates our regulatory strategy, increases Aczone's
commercial potential, and enhances the product's overall attractiveness to
Aczone was originally approved by Health Canada in June 2006 with a
similar label restriction as that required by the US Food and Drug
Administration (FDA). The label called for all patients to undergo G6PD
screening and for those patients with this enzyme deficiency, regular blood
monitoring was required during Aczone treatment. On March 17, 2008 the Company
announced that the FDA removed the G6PD screening and monitoring requirements
based on a Phase IV clinical trial in 56 safety-evaluable G6PD-deficient
patients. During a six-month period, patients were treated with both Aczone
and the Aczone-vehicle (control group) in a cross-over design. Data was
analyzed by third party clinical experts in dermatology and hematology who
concluded that no clinically meaningful changes in safety-related parameters
were observed in the trial.
Aczone, a prescription topical medicine for the treatment of acne
vulgaris, is the only acne treatment to harness the potential of dapsone in a
topical formulation to provide patients with a convenient and effective
therapy. QLT USA owns worldwide marketing rights to Aczone.
ACZONE is an aqueous topical gel containing 5% dapsone. Combining dapsone
in QLT USA's proprietary Solvent Microparticulate (SMP(TM)) gel enables
dapsone to be applied topically and safely. In two randomized double-blind,
vehicle-controlled clinical studies in 3,000 acne patients, ACZONE Gel
achieved statistically significant percent reduction in the number of acne
lesions and better success rate on the Global Acne Assessment Score. The most
common adverse events reported from controlled clinical trials include
oiliness/peeling, dryness, and erythema. There were no significant differences
in the adverse event rates between ACZONE Gel and vehicle control treated
QLT Inc. is a global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the
discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies. Our
research and development efforts are focused on pharmaceutical products in the
fields of ophthalmology and dermatology. In addition, we utilize three unique
technology platforms, photodynamic therapy, Atrigel(R) and punctal plugs with
drugs, to create products such as Visudyne and Eligard(R) and future product
opportunities. For more information, visit our web site at www.qltinc.com.
Aczone is a registered trademark of QLT USA, Inc.
Atrigel is a registered trademark of QLT USA, Inc.
Visudyne is a registered trademark of Novartis AG.
Eligard is a registered trademark of Sanofi-aventis.
QLT Inc. is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the trading symbol
"QLTI" and on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "QLT."
For further information:
For further information: QLT Inc.: Vancouver, Canada: Therese Hayes,
Telephone: (604) 707-7000, or 1-800-663-5486, Fax: (604) 707-7001; The Trout
Group: New York, USA: Brandon Lewis, Telephone: (646) 378-2915; or Marcy
Strickler, Telephone: (646) 378-2927