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VioQuest to Present Data on Oncology Compounds VQD-002 and Lenocta at AACR-NCI-EORTC International Meeting

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., October 19, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- VioQuest Pharmaceuticals , a New Jersey-based biopharmaceutical company focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing targeted cancer therapeutics, announced today that it will be presenting data in poster presentations pertaining to VQD-002 (TCN-PM) and Lenocta(TM) (SSG) at the "Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics" International Conference sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) taking place October 22-26, 2007 at the Moscone Convention Center West in San Francisco, CA.


Abstract Number B71 titled, "Phase I pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic study of the inhibitor of activation of AKT (p-Akt), triciribine phosphate monohydrate (TCN-PM), in solid malignancies."

    Session Title:          Poster Session B

    Session Subtitle:       Clinical Trials

    Session Date:           Wednesday, October 24, 2007, 12:30 P.M. PDT

    Session Time:           12:30-2:30 P.M. and 5:30-7:30 P.M. PDT

    Session Location:       Exhibit Hall, First Floor, Moscone Convention

                            Center West


Abstract Number B89 titled, "Phase I Dose Escalation Study of Sodium Stibogluconate (SSG), a protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor - in Combination with Interferon-alpha for patients with solid tumors."

    Session Title:          Poster Session B

    Session Subtitle:       Clinical Trials

    Session Date:           Wednesday, October 24, 2007, 12:30 P.M. PDT

    Session Time:           12:30-2:30 PM and 5:30-7:30 P.M. PDT

    Session Location:       Exhibit Hall, First Floor, Moscone Convention

                            Center West

Dan Greenleaf, president and CEO of VioQuest Pharmaceuticals, stated, "We are seeing meaningful clinical and biological activity in our two leading oncology drug candidates, VQD-002 and Lenocta(TM), which paves the way for the initiation of several Phase II clinical trials. For VQD-002, which we believe is the leading Akt inhibitor in clinical development, we have documented Akt modulation in both the leukemia and solid tumor trials at the 35mg/m2 dose. During this quarter, we expect to complete the Phase I portion of our VQD-002 leukemia clinical trial and initiate the Phase II expansion portion of the trial. Concurrently, we have initiated our Phase II trial for Lenocta(TM) in solid tumors. Phase I data from the trial demonstrates an increase in the activities of natural killer, CD8 and type II dendritic cells. We believe that the pace at which we are progressing clinically is indicative of the ongoing validation of the pathways, our clinical and biological data, the Company's focus, the upgrades to our clinical development team and the investigator excitement related to our development programs."

About VQD-002

VQD-002 Triciribine phosphate (TCN-PM) is a novel, first in class tricyclic nucleoside that inhibits phosphorylated Akt (protein kinase B). Akt is a serine/threonine protein kinase, which is not normally active in human cells, but is hyperphosphorylated (hyperactivated) in many tumor types. The Akt pathway has been shown to play critical roles in malignant transformation by inducing cell survival, growth, migration, angiogenesis and inhibition of apoptosis, thereby making blockage of this pathway an attractive therapeutic target. VQD-002 has demonstrated single agent strong and potent anti-tumor activities during preclinical evaluation studies and in various ongoing Phase I/II clinical studies as well. This product is in ongoing clinical studies as a single agent in both solid and hematological tumors at the Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL and at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. There are plans to open up more sites and conduct several Phase II studies in various types of tumors using VQD-002 in combination with other chemotherapies and in radiotherapy as well. A previous Phase II clinical trial sponsored by the National Cancer Institute included 21 evaluable patients with cervical cancer, of which 2 responses were observed. One patient had a complete response for 19+ months, another patient had a partial response for 5+ months, and 8 patients had shown stable disease, as observed in their RECIST scores.

About Lenocta(TM)

Lenocta(TM) is an inhibitor of multiple protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPases), specifically the SRC homology PTPase (SHP-1 & SHP-2) and PTB-1B, based on data from several preclinical studies conducted at the Cleveland Clinic. These intracellular enzymes are involved in signaling pathways of many receptor-linked tyrosine kinases which are involved in growth, proliferation and differentiation of cancer cells. Inhibition of these enzymes with Lenocta(TM) can trigger apoptosis, (programmed cell death) of malignant cells. This antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic effects, coupled with its potential ability to enhance the body's immune system, through improved cytokine signaling, T-cell and dendritic cell functions indicate that Lenocta(TM) has potentials as an anti-cancer agent. It is known that one major mechanism of regulating the growth and proliferation of cancer cells involves activation of cellular pathways, especially protein tyrosine kinase pathways and in particular, the Jak/Stat pathway. It has also been recognized that interferon and other cytokines exert their anti-cancer effects via these pathways.

About VioQuest Pharmaceuticals

VioQuest focuses on acquiring, developing, and commercializing targeted late preclinical and early clinical stage therapies with unique mechanisms of action primarily for oncology and infectious diseases. VioQuest has three targeted drug candidates in clinical development: VQD-002 which inhibits activation of Akt that is seen at abnormally high levels in breast, ovarian, colorectal, pancreatic, and hematologic cancers; Lenocta(TM), an inhibitor of specific protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPases), SHP-1 and SHP-2, which has shown compelling clinical and biological activity in solid tumors and Xyfid(TM), a topical therapy which has shown early clinical promise in the treatment and prevention of chemo-induced Hand-Foot Syndrome (HFS). VioQuest anticipates commencing several Phase II trials for VQD-002, Lenocta(TM) and Xyfid(TM) in the second half of 2007. In addition, VioQuest and the U.S. Army are planning to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) to the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2007 for Lenocta(TM) for the treatment of leishmaniasis. Additional information on VioQuest Pharmaceuticals can be located at

Forward-Looking Statements

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 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. In addition, this press release also includes forward-looking statements regarding the timing, progress and results of the clinical development, regulatory processes, potential clinical trial initiations, potential IND and NDA filings and commercialization efforts of VioQuest's drug development product candidates. These statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties and include 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, including Lenocta(TM), VQD-002, and Xyfid(TM) 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, 2006. VioQuest assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

    Contact information:

    Daniel Greenleaf

    President and CEO

    908-766-4400 ext. 115


    Brian Lenz

    Chief Financial Officer

    908-766-4400 ext. 117


    Lisa Lindberg

    VP, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications

    908-766-4400 ext. 116


Posted: October 2007