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VioQuest Pharmaceuticals Announces Issuance of U.S. Patent
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
VioQuest Pharmaceuticals (OTCBB: VOQP) today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent for the company's investigational product candidate Xyfid (1% topical uracil). U.S. Patent No. 7,368,456 ('456 patent), entitled "Methods, compositions, and kits for organ protection during systemic anticancer therapy," includes pharmaceutical compositions, methods of treatment, and combination kits. The '456 patent applies to the use of Xyfid as well as to a range of methods designed to protect body tissue from the toxic effects of certain systemically administered anticancer therapeutic agents.
In particular, cutaneous toxicities are a side effect associated with some commonly used anticancer therapies, including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), and the oral 5-FU prodrug capecitabine.
For example, many patients treated with EGFR inhibitors develop dermatological toxicity, including skin drying, fissuring, and acneform rash that may cause the reduction, interruption or discontinuation of treatment. As envisioned in the '456 patent, topical application of a recombinant EGF formulation could treat or prevent these skin toxicity manifestations, permitting the full and uninterrupted course of treatment to be administered.
In another example, patients treated with bevacizumab in combination with intravenous 5-FU-based chemotherapy for metastatic carcinoma of the colon are also at risk for skin toxicity. As envisioned in the '456 patent, topical application of a recombinant VEGF formulation could treat or prevent skin toxicity.
"The issue of dose-limiting cutaneous toxicities in cancer therapy puts many patients at risk and has a significant impact on efficacy and patient outcomes. The '456 patent further positions VioQuest to advance clinical programs involving Xyfid and new research involving a range of methods to address toxicity issues for patients treated with anticancer therapies in the years ahead," said Michael D. Becker, president and chief executive officer of VioQuest Pharmaceuticals.
VioQuest Pharmaceuticals is developing Xyfid for the treatment of dry skin conditions, to manage the burning and itching associated with various dermatoses, and for the prevention of palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (PPE), also known as hand-foot syndrome (HFS), a relatively common dose-limiting side effect of cytotoxic chemotherapy. HFS is most frequently associated with 5 fluorouracil (5-FU) or the 5-FU prodrug capecitabine. 5-FU, alone or in combination therapy, is widely used to treat cancers of the head and neck, breast, cervix, and gastrointestinal tract. There are currently no treatments or preventions for HFS, which is characterized by tingling in the palms, fingers and soles of feet and by erythema, which may progress to burning pain with dryness, cracking, desquamation, ulceration and oedema.
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 associated with 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 VioQuest's ability to develop Xyfid, the potential indications and methods for which Xyfid may be developed, and the role Xyfid may play in the treatment of dermatological disorders caused by certain cancer therapies. 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 need for additional capital to 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.
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