Quest PharmaTech, BC Cancer Agency to develop immuno PDT for lung cancer

Jan. 30, 2008
January 30, 2008, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada--Quest PharmaTech signed a collaborative research agreement with the BC Cancer Agency (BCCA) to develop a combination therapy for the treatment of lung cancer that utilizes the company's lead oncology product, SL052, with various immunotherapeutic agents.

January 29, 2008, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada--Quest PharmaTech signed a collaborative research agreement with the BC Cancer Agency (BCCA) to develop a combination therapy for the treatment of lung cancer that utilizes 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 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, 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.

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