Updated on 27 November 2012
Singapore: Australia-based specialty pharmaceutical company Hatchtech published data describing the mechanism of action of the active ingredient (Ha44) in its lead head lice product DeOvo, which is a single application topical treatment for head lice. The company also announced that it had successfully completed a Thorough QT (TQT) study, a clinical safety assessment required by US and European regulators for nearly all new molecular entities.
The research data, published in the journal PLOS ONE described the ability of Ha44 to fatally disrupt all stages of the life cycle of the model organism Drosophila melanogaster, from eggs to adult flies. Ha44, a small heterocyclic organic molecule, is able to chelate heavy metal ions including zinc, iron and copper and thereby disrupt metal dependent targets within the insect that require these ions for normal function.
Dr Vern Bowles, CSO, Hatchtech, said that, "This research conducted under an ARC Linkage Grant in conjunction with the University of Melbourne is consistent with the spectrum of activity of Ha44 that we have observed against head lice in the laboratory and in clinical studies. It demonstrates all stages from eggs to adults are susceptible to the compound with a single application" He also added that, "The results indicate that Ha44 is acting on several targets within the insect which suggests that target site resistance is unlikely to evolve."
Dr Lewis Schulz, chief operating officer, Hatchtech, said that, "We are very pleased with the results of the TQT study which provide further data supporting the safety profile of DeOvo."