Methyl aminolevulinate

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Methyl aminolevulinate
  • Methyl 5-amino-4-oxopentanoate
External links
AHFS/Drugs.comMultum Consumer Information
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass145.158 g·mol−1
3D model (JSmol)
  • O=C(CC(N)C(=O)OC)C
  • InChI=1S/C6H11NO3/c1-4(8)3-5(7)6(9)10-2/h5H,3,7H2,1-2H3 checkY

Methyl aminolevulinate (MAL) is a drug used as a sensitizer in photodynamic therapy. It is a prodrug that is metabolized to protoporphyrin IX. It is marketed as Metvix.

Metvix cream is applied topically and some time later the skin is illuminated with a proprietary red light (630 nm) source (medical lamp 'Aktilite') to activate the photosensitiser.

Metvix is developed by Photocure and Galderma has bought all rights to Metvix.[1]

Approvals and indications

Methyl aminolevulinate is approved in New Zealand for treatment of basal cell carcinoma.[2]

It is now approved in many countries and has been used to treat non-melanoma skin cancer (including basal cell carcinoma).[3]

It has some advantages over Levulan.[4]

It has been reported as controversial in some quarters, with severe pain allegedly being experienced by some patients. [5]


  1. "Photocure Divests Metvix to Galderma for EUR 51 Million". Archived from the original on 2011-02-07. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  2. Ngan V (2003). "Methyl aminolevulinate photodynamic therapy (MAL PDT)". DermNet NZ. Archived from the original on 2016-06-28. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
  3. "New 5 Year Metvix-PDT Data Demonstrate Long-Term Efficacy & Reliability For NM Skin Cancer Treatment". EurekAlert!. 2006. Archived from the original on 2021-08-28. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
  4. O'Connor AE, Gallagher WM, Byrne AT (2009). "Porphyrin and nonporphyrin photosensitizers in oncology: preclinical and clinical advances in photodynamic therapy". Photochemistry and Photobiology. 85 (5): 1053–74. doi:10.1111/j.1751-1097.2009.00585.x. PMID 19682322. S2CID 205950773.
  5. "Concerns raised over ALA skin cancer cream as patients recount 'horrendous' pain". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 16 November 2013. Archived from the original on 2018-09-22. Retrieved 2021-06-28.

External links