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May 17, 2013 — Theralase Technologies Inc. announced that its researchers have discovered a significant new mechanism of action for a new class of photo dynamic compounds (PDCs), which have been custom designed to destroy cancer cells when activated by a proprietary light source.
The preclinical study, conducted by Theralase scientists and their colleagues at University Health Network’s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, was presented on May 15, at the Laser World of Photonics conference held in Munich, Germany.
In previous preclinical studies, Theralase’s PDCs have been proven to be promising anti-cancer agents in various cancer models. Their efficacy involved a number of critical cellular processes, including DNA damage and programmed cell death. All PDCs were thought to work primarily by oxygen-dependent mechanisms, ultimately causing cell death in the presence of highly reactive oxygen. In this study; however, scientists established that a new class of Theralase PDCs have an additional “oxygen independent” mechanism of action, which would increase efficacy in the destruction of more clinically aggressive tumors.
The research lead by Lothar Lilge, PhD, senior scientist, Ontario Cancer Institute; Princess Margaret Cancer Centre; and Arkady Mandel, MD, PhD, DSc, chief scientific officer, Theralase has shown that specific metal-based PDCs when tested for effectiveness of cancer destruction in a low oxygen environment were proven to be highly effective in the destruction of human brain cancer cells in-vitro, thus activating this newly discovered pathway.
Additionally using this pathway, Theralase scientists confirmed in a preclinical model a complete response rate and the destruction of subcutaneous (under the skin) colon cancer tumors in mice, which were treated with Theralase’s anti-cancer PDC technology. On follow-up, the initial complete response was maintained in two-thirds of the animals for over one year without recurrence.
Roger Dumoulin-White, president and CEO of Theralase Technologies Inc. stated, “Recognition of our world class anti-cancer research at the Munich conference is another testament to the cutting edge research our scientists are conducting in this field. Our findings would strongly suggest that Theralase’s PDCs oxygen independent potency would significantly enhance our ability to destroy cancer cells. Tumors in a low oxygen environment have been extremely challenging because this lack of oxygen renders solid tumors much more resistant to therapeutic interventions. Many traditional therapeutic agents, conducted on poorly oxygenated solid core tumors, including any currently FDA approved PDCs, are susceptible to a ‘self-limiting’ activity; whereby, below a critical threshold oxygenation level, their efficacy is progressively reduced resulting in minimal to no cancer cell destruction. The new class of Theralase PDCs is not susceptible to this ‘self-limiting’ activity and as a result maintains its efficacy even in extremely low oxygenated cancerous tumors, such as breast and prostate cancer. As a result, Theralase is extremely excited about the latest research and what it means in the field of cancer destruction. Theralase is committed to the early commercialization of its patented light activated photo dynamic compounds in the areas of anti-cancer and anti-bacterial applications to generate substantial revenues for the Company and hence dramatically increase shareholder value.”
Source: Theralase Technologies Inc., theralase.com