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Puffer Fish Biotoxin Provides Promising Relief in Cancer Pain

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www.ProHealth.com • February 5, 2004


Recent results from a phase IIA clinical trial on the use of tetrodotoxin – a neurotoxin extracted from puffer fish – in patients with refractory cancer pain show extremely promising results. The study, reported in the January/February issue of the Journal Supportive Oncology, details the findings from the open-label dose finding trial, showing that the majority of patients who received the novel analgesic experienced either a complete or partial response to the agent. Overall, 68% (17/25) patients responded, based on the primary study endpoint of a reduction in pain intensity of greater than 33%. Tetrodotoxin is a non-addictive neurotoxin, originally used by Japanese researchers in the 1930s for the treatment of migraines, and menstrual cramps. The biotoxin was subsequently developed by Wex Technologies for the clinical treatment of heroin withdrawal. It works by blocking slow sodium channel nocicipetive pain fibres in a highly selective way. "The identification of a medication that can help these patients who are not responding to current therapy is very promising," said Dr. Edward Sellars, President and Chief Operating Officer of Ventana Clinical Research Corporation, Toronto, Ontario, and Senior Medical Consultant to Vancouver based International Wex Technologies, the company developing tetrodotoxin. "These interim results indicate that a double-blind, controlled trial should be initiated," Dr. Sellers said. In fact, a Canadian phase III trial is being planned. INTERNATIONAL WEX TECHNOLOGIES INC., A PUBLICLY LISTED NEURO-BIOSCIENCE COMPANY (WXI), IS FOCUSED ON THE DEVELOPMENT AND COMMERCIALIZATION OF INNOVATIVE DRUG PRODUCTS, PRIMARILY FOR PAIN MANAGEMENT. THE COMPANY'S LEAD COMPOUND, TETRODOTOXIN, IS A SODIUM CHANNEL BLOCKER AND IS THE PLATFORM FOR THE COMPANY'S DEVELOPMENT OF A PORTFOLIO OF PROPRIETARY PRODUCTS IN THE FIELD OF ANALGESIA, DRUG ADDICTION WITHDRAWAL TREATMENT, AND LOCAL ANAESTHESIA INTERNATIONAL WEX TECHNOLOGIES INC.
Don Evans
Corporate Communications
1-800-722-7549 For further information, interviews, B-Roll, and photographs contact MARK BUTLER
Communications
416-518-6804 For a digital copy of the article from Supportive Oncology, please click here: http://www.wextech.ca/pdf/JSO18_SCH_3C.pdf



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