Quest PharmaTech has reported that the Phase I clinical trial results from its lead product candidate, SL017 topical gel, demonstrated the presence of the drug at hair follicles as detected by quantitative fluorescence microscopy. SL017 fluorescence was detected as early as 30 minutes after application of the gel and the maximum intensity was seen at 60 minutes. Follicular localization of the photosensitizer suggests that photodynamic therapy (PDT) with SL017 has potential for cosmetic hair removal.
The Phase I clinical trial was designed to study the uptake of the photosensitizer in hair follicles, sebaceous glands and the epidermis after topical administration to the back of 10 patients with acne. It was also designed to evaluate the safety of the product after such application. The application of SL017 for up to two hours under occlusion did not generate any adverse drug reaction in the patients and the drug showed satisfactory safety profile. Comparatively low levels of SL017 fluorescence were observed at the epidermis indicating that PDT with SL017 should not damage the epidermis, a major limitation of other topical PDT agents.