October 23, 2008
Zila Demonstrates Effectiveness of Photosensitizing Agent in Animal Model
Zila, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZILAD) today announced encouraging preliminary results of an in vivo animal study which showed evidence of photodestruction of premalignant lesions and squamous cell carcinoma when treated with Zila's patented pharmaceutical grade toluidine blue, both a diagnostic adjuvant and a photosensitizer for DMBA-induced precancers and cancers in the hamster cheek pouch model. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common form of oral, cervical and, esophageal cancers.
"We are extremely encouraged by the results of these first animal tests," said Dr. Mark Bride, Vice President of Medical Affairs for Zila. "These results confirm that a topical application of our toluidine blue, rather than the traditional systemic administration of a photosensitizer and its attendant side effects, may provide an effective alternative to current PDT modalities. Additionally, we are encouraged by the single treatment results with the Zila photosensitizer when compared to the 4 to 8 treatments that are required for lesion resolution with other photosensitizers. Longitudinal studies are still needed to determine treatment prognoses."
The long-term goal of the study conducted at the University of California, Irvine - Beckman Laser Institute was to develop a photodynamic approach to early detection, diagnosis and eradication of oral dysplasia and malignancy. The specific aim of the study was to evaluate the phototherapeutic effects of the Zila photosensitizer in the hamster carcinogenesis model for various grades of pathology.
About Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
PDT is a treatment, and sometimes a pre-treatment, that utilizes a substance called a photosensitizer and specific wavelengths of light to activate the photosensitizer. The light penetrates the tissue and causes excitation of the photosensitizer. Once activated, an oxygen species of a higher energy state is formed thus producing cytotoxic effects on target cells and their structures.
PDT cancer therapy has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of esophageal cancer and non-small cell lung cancer under certain circumstances. Researchers are currently recruiting patients to study the applications for PDT in the treatment of brain, skin, prostate, cervix, intestinal, stomach and liver cancer.
About Zila, Inc.
Zila, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is a diagnostic company dedicated to the prevention, detection and treatment of oral cancer and periodontal disease. Zila manufactures and markets ViziLite(R) Plus with TBlue(R) ("ViziLite(R) Plus"), the company's flagship product for the early detection of oral abnormalities that could lead to cancer. ViziLite(R) Plus is an adjunctive medical device cleared by the FDA for use in a population at increased risk for oral cancer. In addition, Zila designs, manufactures and markets a suite of proprietary products sold exclusively and directly to dental professionals for periodontal disease, including the Rotadent(R) Professional Powered Brush, the Pro-Select Platinum(R) ultrasonic scaler and a portfolio of oral pharmaceutical products for both in-office and home-care use. All of Zila's products are marketed and sold in the United States and Canada primarily through the company's direct field sales force and telemarketing organization. The company's products are marketed and sold in other international markets through the direct sales forces of third party distributors. Zila's marketing programs reach most U.S. dental offices and include continuing education seminars for dentists and their staffs.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements are based largely on Zila's expectations or forecasts of future events, can be affected by inaccurate assumptions and are subject to various business risks and known and unknown uncertainties, a number of which are beyond the Company's control. Therefore, actual results could differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained herein. A wide variety of factors could cause or contribute to such differences and could adversely affect revenue, profitability, cash flows and capital needs. There can be no assurance that the forward-looking statements contained in this press release will, in fact, transpire or prove to be accurate. For a more detailed description of these and other cautionary factors that may affect Zila's future results, please refer to Zila's Form 10-K for its fiscal year ended July 31, 2008.
For more information about the company and its products, please visit www.zila.com.