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PCI Biotech receives grant of MNOK 8.5 from the NRC


Oslo, Norway, 17 January 2007 - PCI Biotech AS, a subsidiary of Photocure, has been awarded a grant of NOK 8.5 million from the Norwegian Research Council (NRC) for a project called “Photochemical Internalisation for cytotoxic cancer therapy”, where the PCI technology will be used to enhance and site-direct the effect of cytotoxic agents in cancer patients. The grant will be distributed over the next 3 years and comes in addition to a grant of NOK 5.4 million awarded in 2006 (the NRC “FUGE” program) for further development of the PCI technology in gene and oligonucleotide therapy.
The grant will be used to fund the first clinical studies with PCI Biotech’s proprietary photosensitiser, Amphinex®, and for further development of the synthesis of this compound.
Kjetil Hestdal, President and CEO of Photocure comments: “The support from the NRC has been invaluable for the development of PCI Biotech. NRC’s program for funding companies like PCI Biotech having a fantastic technology with a very large potential, but also a high risk, is extremely important. The current grant will give PCI Biotech invaluable financial support through the crucial phase of the first clinical studies, aiming to show the effect of the PCI technology in humans. In addition to the substantial financial implications of the grant, it is also with great contentment we register that the independent evaluators of the NRC share our belief in, and commitment to exploring, the potential of the PCI technology.”

PCI Biotech AS was established in 2000 to commercialize the company’s proprietary technology Photochemical Internalisation (PCI). The PCI technology can be used for enhancing the effect of drugs specifically at illuminated sites in the body (e.g. in tumours), and has a potential to improve the effect both of existing drugs and of emerging treatments such as gene therapy and other therapies based on biotechnological principles.

Photocure ASA is a Norwegian pharmaceutical company listed on Oslo Stock Exchange. The company develops and sells pharmaceuticals and medical devices based on proprietary photodynamic technologies, targeting key dermatology and oncology markets.

Photocure has two products with sales and marketing approvals: Metvix®, which is a product developed for the treatment of skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma) and pre-cancerous skin lesions (actinic keratosis), and Hexvix®, which is developed for the detection of bladder cancer. Both products are based on the same photodynamic technology, combining the drug known as a photosensitiser with a light source that activates the photosensitiser. Photocure aims to develop a pipeline of follow-on products and technologies.


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