EDMONTON, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Quest PharmaTech Inc. ("Quest" or the "Company") today announced that it has signed a collaborative research agreement with the BC Cancer Agency (the "BCCA") to develop a combination therapy for the treatment of lung cancer. The potential treatment will utilize the Company's lead oncology product, SL052, with various immunotherapeutic agents. Research has shown that photodynamic therapy (PDT) can augment the therapeutic effects of immunomodulators such as antibodies, antigens, cytokines and immunoadjuvants in cancer patients.
Under the terms of the agreement, the BCCA, with Dr. Mladen Korbelik as the principle investigator, will investigate therapeutic and mechanistic aspects of anti-tumor effects achieved by combining photodynamic therapy (PDT) based on Quest's photosensitizer, SL052, with various immunotherapeutic agents.
PDT uses light to activate anti-cancer drugs, but has also been shown to stimulate the body's immune system to fight the disease. Dr. Korbelik, a Senior Scientist at the BCCA and a Clinical Professor at the University of British Columbia, is a pioneer and leader in this area of research. For the past 20 years, he has been involved in PDT studies aimed at improving treatment of solid tumors. His research has provided direct evidence of the induction of tumor immunity by PDT; and demonstrated that PDT can be effectively potentiated by adjuvant immunotherapy.
"Using targeted treatments with better delivery and manipulating the body's own immune system to fight the disease means patients would experience fewer side effects," said Dr. Korbelik. Quest has a strong intellectual property position to use SL052 with immunotherapy. The combination therapy technology has already received patents from United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland and Australia, and patents are pending in the USA and Canada.
About the BC Cancer Agency: The BCCA, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is renowned world wide for leading edge research and its population-based approach to cancer care. The mission of the BCCA is to reduce the incidence of cancer; to reduce the mortality rate of people with cancer; and to improve the quality of life of people living with cancer. With more than 2000 employees, the BCCA provides a comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia which links prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, supportive care, rehabilitation, palliative care, education, research, and support for community programs. In recognition that its provincial mandate to effect cancer control for the province cannot be realized via current methods of cancer treatment that are aimed at treatment of late stage disease, the BCCA has placed emphasis upon translational research to spearhead new modalities in cancer control, particularly those aimed at early detection and more effective therapeutic interventions.
About Quest PharmaTech Inc: Quest PharmaTech Inc. is a publicly traded , Alberta-based pharmaceutical company committed to build shareholder value through discovery, 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 photodynamic and sonodynamic therapy platform. The Company's lead dermatology product, SL017, is a topical formulation that is currently undergoing a 90 patient clinical trial in Canada for hair removal applications. The Company's lead oncology product, SL052, is scheduled to enter a Phase I clinical trial during the second half of 2008. Quest recently signed an agreement with a multinational technology development company to receive $3,000,000 to develop oncology products based on its SonoLight technology.
CONTACT: Dr. Madi R. Madiyalakan, CEO, Tel.: (780) 448-1400 (Ext. 204),