TSX Venture: QPT
EDMONTON, June 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Quest PharmaTech Inc. (TSX-V: QPT) ("Quest" or the "Company"), a pharmaceutical company developing and commercializing products for the treatment of cancer, announces that it has received clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration to initiate U.S. sites for an ongoing international Phase II clinical trial for oregovomab in advanced ovarian cancer patients. The objective of this study is to evaluate whether optimally dosed oregovomab in conjunction with front-line chemotherapy will generate the same or an improved immune and clinical response, as seen in a previous Phase II clinical trial in a similar ovarian cancer patient population.
The U.S. centers include Michiana Hematology and Oncology at South Bend, Indiana with Dr. Michael Method as the lead investigator; University of Connecticut Health Center at Farmington, Connecticut with Dr. Molly R. Brewer as the lead investigator, and the Stanford Cancer Institute at Stanford, California with Dr. Jonathan S. Berek as the lead investigator.
Two of the three participating U.S. centers have received all necessary regulatory approvals and are now actively recruiting patients. The third center is awaiting IRB approval. Additional information on the Company's clinical trial can be found listed in www.ClinicalTrials.gov.
"A systemic study of combinatorial immunization strategies such as the current trial with evidence based preliminary observations has the potential of revolutionizing cancer therapy and may lead to important commercial applications" said Dr. Christopher Nicodemus, MD, FACP, Senior Advisor and Chairman of the Company's Clinical Advisory Board.
"We are pleased with the interest from the U.S. centers to participate in this important clinical trial. The additional centers will not only speed up patient enrollment for the study, but will raise the profile and awareness of Quest's lead immunotherapy product in the ovarian cancer community in North America", said Dr. Madi R. Madiyalakan, PhD, Chief Executive Officer for Quest.
Quest PharmaTech is developing oregovomab, a high affinity monoclonal antibody for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer. Oregovomab targets the circulating tumour associated antigen CA125. The unique mechanism of action of this treatment involves infusion of oregovomab at immune stimulatory doses (2mg) that specifically bind circulating and local CA125. The antibody-antigen complex is taken up by dendritic cells that, after processing, present the antigen fragments to T-cells via the MHC system. The robust CD4 and CD8 T-cell response that follows has been shown to be associated with a survival advantage, especially when administered in combination with chemotherapy.
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 which target certain tumour antigens that are presented in a variety of cancers. The Company has active collaborations with major comprehensive cancer care centers, and international experts, to further the growing understanding of how to use antibodies to make a patient's own tumour markers become the patient's own vaccine.
Quest believes that combinatorial immunotherapy, which exploits the immune modulating effects of selected cytotoxic agents normally used in standard chemotherapy regimens along with specific immune stimulants will lead to important commercial applications of the Company's proprietary platform. Quest is currently conducting two carefully planned, risk mitigating confirmatory clinical trials, not only to validate the superiority of the combinatorial approach, but also to design a definitive product registration study. The Company's MUC1 antibody program has the potential to permit tumour specific immunization to a broad range of additional cancers, including colon, non small cell lung, breast and pancreas.
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