VioQuest Pharmaceuticals Announces Upcoming Lenocta Oral Presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting
The abstract from the Lenocta study, titled "Phase I dose-escalation study of sodium stibogluconate (SSG), a protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor, combined with interferon-alfa for patients with solid tumors" (Abstract #3011), is available on the ASCO website at www.asco.org. The ASCO oral presentation, scheduled for May 31, 2008, will provide updated clinical data beyond those in the abstract, with a focus on the immunological aspects of the Lenocta study.
At the time of abstract submission, 19 patients had been enrolled in the Lenocta phase 1 trial, including five patients with melanoma and three with colorectal cancer. Lenocta dose levels ranged from 400 to 1,350 mg/m2. Preliminary immune monitoring suggests that the combination of Lenocta and interferon alpha is capable of augmenting cellular immunity, with significant changes in immune parameters observed in patients receiving 900 mg/m2 of Lenocta and above. Lenocta in combination with interferon alpha was well tolerated.
Lenocta (sodium stibogluconate) is a selective, small molecule inhibitor of certain protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs), such as SHP-1, SHP-2 and PTP1B, with demonstrated anti-tumor activity against a wide spectrum of cancers both alone and in combination with other approved immune activation agents, including IL-2 and interferons. PTPs are a family of proteins that regulate signal transduction pathways in cells and that have been implicated in a number of diseases including cancer, diabetes, and neurodegeneration. Lenocta is currently in a Phase 2a clinical trial as a potential treatment for melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, and other solid tumors.
In addition to its potential role as a cancer therapeutic, sodium stibogluconate has been approved in many countries around the world as a first-line treatment of leishmaniasis, an infection typically found in tropic and sub-tropic developing countries. Based on historical published data and a large observational study conducted by the U.S. Army, data from approximately 400 patients could be utilized to support a New Drug Application for Lenocta with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008. Lenocta has been granted Orphan Drug status for leishmaniasis.
About VioQuest Pharmaceuticals
VioQuest Pharmaceuticals is a New Jersey-based biotechnology company dedicated to becoming a recognized leader in the successful development of novel drug therapies targeting both the molecular basis of cancer and side effects of treatment. VioQuest's oncology portfolio includes: Xyfid(TM) (1% uracil topical), for the treatment and prevention of Hand-Foot Syndrome, a common side effect from certain chemotherapy treatments, and to treat dry skin conditions and manage the burning and itching associated with various dermatoses; VQD-002 (triciribine phosphate monohydrate), a targeted inhibitor of Akt activation; and Lenocta(TM) (sodium stibogluconate), an inhibitor of certain protein tyrosine phosphatases such as SHP-1, SHP-2, and PTP1B.
Further information about VioQuest can be found at www.vioquestpharm.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause VioQuest's actual results and experiences to differ materially from the anticipated results and expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements concern the timing, progress and results of the clinical development, regulatory processes, potential clinical trial initiations of VioQuest's product candidates, as well as our ability to complete strategic transactions. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as anticipates, expects, plans, believes, intends, and similar words or phrases. These statements are based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from these statements. These statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties and include VioQuest's immediate need for additional capital to cover its current obligations and future operating expenses and fund its clinical development programs, the possibility that the results of clinical trials will not support VioQuest's claims, the possibility that VioQuest's development efforts relating to its product candidates will not be successful, the inability to obtain regulatory approval of VioQuest's product candidates, VioQuest's reliance on third-party researchers to develop its product candidates, its lack of experience in developing and commercializing pharmaceutical products, and the possibility that its licenses to develop and commercialize its product candidates may be terminated. Additional risks are described in VioQuest's Annual Report on Form 10-KSB for the year ended December 31, 2007. VioQuest assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.
Brian Lenz, 908-766-4400 ext. 117
Chief Financial Officer
Berry & Company
Steven Zoegall, Ph.D., 212-253-8881
Posted: May 2008