VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 27, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- QLT Inc. (Nasdaq:QLTI) (TSX:QLT) ("QLT" or the "Company") today announced that preliminary results from the Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA) patient cohort in its on-going Phase 1b clinical proof-of-concept study of QLT091001 will be presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
The trial's principal investigator, Robert K. Koenekoop, M.D., Ph.D. from McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, will present a Special Interest Group talk titled "Gene Discovery and Treatment for LCA" on May 3, 2011 in a session between 12:00 p.m. EDT and 1:30 p.m. EDT, and also a poster titled "Oral Synthetic cis-Retinoid Therapy in Subjects with Leber Congenital Amaurosis due to Lecithin:Retinol Acyltransferase (LRAT) or Retinal Pigment Epithelial 65 Protein (RPE65) Mutations: Preliminary Results of a Phase Ib Open Label Trial" on May 3, 2011, at 1:45 p.m. EDT.
About Synthetic Retinoid Drugs
Genetic diseases in the eye such as Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA) and Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) arise from gene mutations of enzymes or proteins required in the biochemistry of vision. QLT091001 is a replacement for 11-cis-retinal, which is an essential component of the retinoid-rhodopsin cycle and visual function, and is under investigation for the treatment of LCA and RP.
About Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA)
LCA is an inherited degenerative retinal disease characterized by abnormalities such as roving eye movements and sensitivity to light, and manifesting in severe vision loss from birth. Eye examinations of infants with LCA reveal normal appearing retinas. However, a low level of retinal activity, measured by electroretinography, indicates very little visual function. Approximately 1 child out of every 81,000 births will inherit the disease. Mutations in the genes for retinal pigment epithelium protein 65 (RPE65) and lecithin:retinol acyltransferase (LRAT) result in an inadequate production of 11-cis-retinal and occur in approximately 10% of patients with LCA and to a lesser extent in Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), another inherited retinal dystrophy.
About Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)
RP is a set of hereditary retinal diseases demonstrating clinical features similar to LCA and characterized by degeneration of rod and cone photoreceptors. By current epidemiological estimates, there are at least 300,000 patients with RP worldwide, of which less than 5% carry the inherited deficiencies of either RPE65 or LRAT.
QLT Inc. is a biotechnology company dedicated to the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the eye. We are focused on our commercial product Visudyne® for the treatment of wet-AMD, developing drugs to be delivered in our proprietary punctal plug delivery system, as well as developing our synthetic retinoid program for the treatment of certain inherited retinal diseases. For more information, visit our website at .
Visudyne® is a registered trademark of Novartis AG.
QLT Inc. is listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the trading symbol "QLTI" and on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "QLT."
The QLT Inc. logo is available at
Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward looking statements" of QLT within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and constitute "forward looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward looking statements include, but are not limited to: statements concerning our clinical development programs and future plans and presentations, including our QLT091001 Phase 1b trial; expected progression of clinical trials and programs and timing to receive data; and statements which contain language such as: "assuming," "prospects," "future," "projects," "believes," "expects" and "outlook." Forward-looking statements are predictions only which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from those expressed in such statements. Many such risks, uncertainties and other factors are taken into account as part of our assumptions underlying these forward-looking statements and include, among others, the following: the Company's future operating results are uncertain and likely to fluctuate; uncertainties relating to the timing and results of the clinical development and commercialization of our products and technologies (including, but not limited to, Visudyne, our punctal plug technology and synthetic retinoid program) and the associated costs of these programs; outcomes for our clinical trials (including our punctal plug technology and our synthetic retinoid program) may not be favorable or may be less favorable than interim results and/or previous trials; there may be varying interpretations of data produced by one or more of our clinical trials; the timing, expense and uncertainty associated with the regulatory approval process for products; risks and uncertainties associated with the safety and effectiveness of our technology; risks and uncertainties related to the scope, validity, and enforceability of our intellectual property rights and the impact of patents and other intellectual property of third parties; and general economic conditions and other factors described in detail in QLT's Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian securities regulatory authorities. Forward looking statements are based on the current expectations of QLT and QLT does not assume any obligation to update such information to reflect later events or developments except as required by law.
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