Deprenyl USA Inc. reported Monday that an independent studyshowed that ALA photodynamic therapy, the company'sproposed treatment for skin cancers and other dermatologicaldisorders, is "effective for superficial epithelial skin tumors."

Reporting in the January issue of the Journal of the AmericanAcademy of Dermatology, the researchers said: "We observed acomplete response after a single treatment for all nine solarkeratoses, five of six early invasive squamous cell carcinomas,and 36 of 37 superficial basal cell carcinomas. The treatmentwas well-tolerated by all patients without local anesthetics."

In photodynamic therapy, a photosensitizing compound iscombined with the application of visible light to produce atherapeutic effect. The photosensitizers commonly used persistin the skin for several weeks to several months after injection,resulting in generalized photosensitivity, Deprenyl said. But"the skin photosensitivity caused by ALA is restricted to thetumor and vanishes within 24 hours after treatment," theresearchers said.

Deprenyl of Parsippany, N.J., said it is developing ALAphotodynamic therapy under exclusive license from Queen'sUniversity in Kingston, Ontario. Deprenyl said it expects to startclinical trials in the U.S. shortly.

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