ULM professors garner another patent - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

ULM professors garner another patent

Posted: Updated: Oct 4, 2012 01:55 PM

MONROE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - The United States Patent & Trademark Office has awarded professors at the University of Louisiana at Monroe's College of Pharmacy another patent for potentially life-saving anticancer research—(US 8,268,786 B2). This is the fourth patent awarded to the college.

Dr. Khalid El Sayed, associate professor of pharmacy, and Dr. Paul W. Sylvester, Pfizer endowed professor of pharmacology and director of graduate studies and research at ULM, have been awarded the patent for their cancer research. Dr. Amal Khalil Kaddoumi, assistant professor in pharmacy, and Dr. Sami Nazzal, associate professor of pharmacy, also collaborated on the research.

The patent is titled "Anti-cancer tocotrienol analogues and associated methods." Tocotrienol is a rare, but natural form of Vitamin E. This patent stems from research collaboration between ULM College of Pharmacy faculty and First Tech International Limited in Wanchai, Hong Kong.

"The patent is the first reward for several years of collaborative research activity," said El Sayed. "The palm oil research group led by Dr. Sylvester is a perfect example of integrating unique strengths and diverse, distinguished expertise in the ULM College of Pharmacy." 

The prospective uses of these newly discovered anticancer agents are significant within the field of cancer research.

"The patent is for new and potent anticancer agents that were developed by creating carbamate ester analogues of natural tocotrienols—a natural, but rare form of vitamin E," said Sylvester. "Specifically, these compounds show significant potential for use in the treatment of breast cancer."

According to Sylvester, the anticancer activity of tocotrienols is well established, but this activity is reduced in the body due to poor absorption by the intestine and rapid metabolism in the body. 

"The newly awarded patent discloses the invention of novel tocotrienol derivatives with anti-cancer effects, methods of making such compounds, and methods of cancer treatment and prevention involving those compounds that are useful in the fields of cancer treatment, prevention, and research," continued Sylvester.

Because of this, studies were conducted to develop derivatives by making subtle changes in the natural molecular structure of the vitamin E compounds, resulting in novel tocotrienol-carbamate derivatives that display increased chemical and metabolic stability, increased water solubility, and increased anticancer potency. 

El Sayed said the team is acting as an effective small company. Sylvester discovered the potent activity of the original natural products and understood their mechanism of action, and Dr. Kaddoumi discovered the mechanism of the compound's absorption in the intestine.

The College of Pharmacy—the only state-supported pharmacy program in Louisiana—continues to make advancements in cancer research through an effort to combine the expertise of various faculty, creating greater results.

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