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TheraQuest Presents Topical Local Anesthetic and Abuse Deterrence Data at the World Congress on Pain

BLUE BELL, Pa., August 20, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- TheraQuest Biosciences, Inc. a development stage pain management company is presenting data today on TQ-1019, its proprietary topical local anesthetic and on SECUREL(R), its abuse deterrent technology at the World Congress on Pain in Glasgow, Scotland.

TheraQuest will present four posters, three on the topical application of TQ-1019 and one on its abuse deterrent extended release SECUREL(R) technology.

Studies with TheraQuest's proprietary TQ-1019 demonstrate that topical application provides rapid onset and sustained efficacy in animal models of painful HIV-neuropathy due to the HIV viral envelope protein, gp 120 and the antiretroviral drug, ddC (zalcitabine). Both gp120 and antiretroviral drugs such as ddC have been implicated in painful HIV-associated peripheral neuropathy.

Studies with TheraQuest's proprietary abuse deterrent sustained release (SECUREL(R)) dosage forms demonstrate significant tamper resistance to crushing, grinding, dissolving, melting, needle aspiration, filtration and solvent extraction. All four prototype SECUREL(R) dosage forms were significantly more tamper resistant when compared with sustained release oxycodone (OxyContin(R)). In human bioavailability studies, all four SECUREL(R) prototypes demonstrated a robust sustained release delivery capability.

Najib Babul, PharmD, Chief Executive Officer of TheraQuest stated, "TheraQuest is pleased to be presenting peer-review data on our pain management compounds at the World Congress on Pain, a premier scientific venue which brings together basic and clinical scientists."

About TQ-1019

TQ-1019 is an investigational amino amide class topical local anesthetic being developed for the treatment of painful HIV neuropathy and postherpetic neuralgia.

HIV infection and HIV medications are both associated with the development of neuropathy and neuropathic pain. Symptoms include pain, burning sensations and numbness of the extremities, which are similar to the neuropathies seen with diabetes. At this time, no drug is approved for painful HIV-associated neuropathy.

Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a chronic, debilitating neuropathic pain syndrome that occurs as a complication of shingles or herpes zoster infection. The pain of PHN is unrelenting and is often described as burning, stabbing or aching. Patients frequently fail to obtain complete pain relief with existing treatments or develop troublesome side effects.

About SECUREL(R)

Recent experience with some long-acting opioid pain relievers has shown that intentional crushing or extraction of the active ingredient from the formulation by addicts and recreational drug users can destroy the timed-release mechanism and result in a rapid surge of drug into the bloodstream. Serious side-effects and death have been reported from such misuse.

SECUREL(R) is TheraQuest's proprietary abuse deterrent extended release technology. It cannot be easily crushed for inhalation or to obtain rapid euphoria from high blood levels when swallowed. It is also be exceedingly difficult for I.V. abusers to extract the active drug from the formulation using common solvents, including alcohol.

About TheraQuest

TheraQuest Biosciences, Inc. ( www.theraquestinc.com ) is a private, development-stage pain management company building a diversified portfolio of pharmaceutical products to address a critical area of unmet medical need. Despite their limitations, current treatments for acute and chronic pain yield worldwide sales in excess of $30 billion. The TheraQuest team has contributed to the development of numerous analgesics approved in the U.S. over the past 20 years. TheraQuest's strategy is to use its expertise to identify, develop and commercialize product candidates with strong market potential that have lower development costs and reduced regulatory risk than new chemical entities. TheraQuest is headquartered in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.

TheraQuest is funded in part by BioAdvance, the Biotechnology Greenhouse of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

SECUREL(R) and OxyContin(R) are registered trademarks of TheraQuest Biosciences, Inc., and Purdue Pharma LP, respectively.

CONTACT: Najib Babul, PharmD, CEO, of TheraQuest Biosciences, Inc., inquiry@theraquestinc.com

Web site: http://www.theraquestinc.com/

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Posted: August 2008

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