Quest PharmaTech Announces Positive Results from Phase I Clinical Trial of its Photodynamic Therapy for Actinic Keratosis

    TSX Venture: QPT

    EDMONTON, June 2 /CNW/ - Quest PharmaTech Inc. (TSX-V: QPT), ("Quest" or
the "Company"), today announced that its 12-patient, Phase I clinical study
entitled "ACP-SL017 Topical Gel: A Phase I Study for the Photodynamic Therapy
of Actinic Keratosis" has met both its primary and exploratory objectives.
    "We are delighted to have received, for the first time, clinical
validation for our SonoLight Technology in a dermatological application," said
Madi R. Madiyalakan, CEO of Quest. "Actinic Keratosis is a pre-cancerous skin
condition usually caused by prolonged accumulated sun exposure which can
progress to squamous cell carcinoma, a potentially life-threatening form of
skin cancer, unless treated by a dermatologist or other physician. This trial
successfully demonstrated that cutaneous photodynamic therapy (PDT) with SL017
appears safe and is well tolerated. In addition, our unique approach is
designed to overcome some of the limitations associated with other
commercially available PDT treatments for Actinic Keratosis."
    Actinic Keratosis has a global incidence of approximately 10 to 15% in
the Caucasian population and the American Medical Association estimates the
U.S. market for the treatment of Actinic Keratosis to be about US
$250 million.
    The primary objective of the Phase I study, which was conducted in
Canada, was to determine the cutaneous and systemic toxicity of the
topically-applied photoactive drug, SL017, with and without photoactivation.
The exploratory objective was to evaluate the efficacy of SL017 with and
without photoactivation in the treatment of Actinic Keratosis. The study
parameters employed included physician clinical assessment, patient
symptomatic assessment, skin photography, blood chemistry, urinalysis,
electrocardiogram and skin biopsy. The study was conducted at clinical sites
in Edmonton and Montreal.
    The study met all the objectives addressing the clinical safety
endpoints. There were no observed clinically relevant adverse events
associated with the treatment at all the concentrations (0 to 40 mg of SL017)
and light doses (10 to 20 joules/cm(2)) administered. The light treatment,
conveniently administered in a dermatology clinic, was well tolerated. The
therapeutic potential of SL017 was evidenced by the expected (PDT) effects,
such as redness, edema, occasional blisters, stinging and burning. The
clinical correlates of dyskeratosis and inflammation were likewise
appropriately noted on skin biopsy. Clinical and pathological results
correlated very well, and conformed not only to the expected effects of PDT
but also to the dosage of the drug and light energy administered. The study
suggests that a 2% topical formulation of SL017 and a fluence of 20
joules/cm (2) provide expected PDT outcomes. Importantly, this Phase I study
did not identify any safety concerns with respect to the parameters evaluated
at the dosages of drug and light employed.
    "I am encouraged by the confirmation of the topical PDT effects of SL017
and its potential for future applications in a variety of dermatological
conditions including Actinic Keratosis," commented Dr. Gilles Lauzon, former
Director, Division of Dermatology, University of Alberta and one of the
investigators of the study.
    The potential applications of cutaneous PDT also include acne, rosacea,
superficial skin cancers, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, localized scleroderma,
warts, leishmaniasis and skin rejuvenation. Quest has already shown the
follicular uptake of SL017 in humans; and is currently conducting a 90-patient
trial addressing potential hair removal applications with results anticipated
by end of this year. The Company is also evaluating the utility of SL017 for
the treatment of acne in a preclinical model.
    Paramount Biosciences, a global pharmaceutical and healthcare investment
firm, has exclusive rights to develop and commercialize SL017 for
dermatology-related applications outside Canada. Paramount Biosciences is
conducting Investigational New Drug-enabling pre-clinical studies to initiate
a clinical trial for dermatology applications that will meet U.S. Food and
Drug Administration requirements for one or more indications. Quest will
coordinate with Paramount Biosciences for the further development of SL017.
    Quest is also pleased to announce that it has retained The Equicom Group
Inc. (Equicom) to provide the Company with strategic investor relations and
corporate communications services. Under the terms of the agreement, Quest
will pay Equicom a monthly retainer fee of $5,000 for professional services.
The initial contract term is 12 months. Neither Equicom nor any of its
principals has an ownership interest, directly or indirectly, in Quest or its
securities, and Quest has not granted Equicom or its principals any right to
acquire such an interest. Equicom is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TSX Group
Inc. Equicom provides strategic communications services to more than 100
public companies across a diverse range of industries. For further information
about Equicom, please visit

    About Quest PharmaTech Inc.

    Quest PharmaTech is a publicly traded (TSX Venture Exchange: QPT),
Alberta-based pharmaceutical company committed to the 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 SonoLight photodynamic and sonodynamic therapy platform.

    TSX Venture Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved of the
    information contained herein.

    %SEDAR: 00008400E

For further information:

For further information: Dr. Madi R. Madiyalakan, Chief Executive
Officer, Quest PharmaTech Inc., (780) 448-1400 Ext. 204, Email:, Internet:; Investor
Relations, Adam Peeler, The Equicom Group Inc., (416) 815-0700 Ext. 225, (416)
815-0080 Fax, E-mail:

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