Lowe granted new US patent

Development said to be major scientific stride for biotechnology in Jamaica

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Print this page Email A Friend!


RENOWNED Jamaican scientist Dr Henry Lowe was recently granted a new patent by the United States of America Patent Office in his anti-cancer research.

The development is being regarded as a major scientific stride for biotechnology in Jamaica as it relates to the making of a new group of chemical compounds called Dicinnamoyl-Glycerol Esters, which have major anti-cancer activities.

A news release from Lowe's Bio-Tech R&D Institute explained that the new patent -- Number 8907117 -- is titled 'Anti-tumour and Anti-Inflammatory Dicinnamoyl-Glycerol Esters and their Analogues'.

"The making of these new anti-cancer drugs was inspired by the isolation of chemical compounds from the Ball Moss plant, which has been actively pursued over the past 10 years by Dr Lowe and his research team," the news release said. "The synthesis of these anti-cancer drug agents is a first of its kind."

The patent information was recently released, but was formally granted on December 9, 2014, the release explained, adding that the new patent is one of three anti-cancer patents so far granted to Dr Lowe, with an additional five patents undergoing different stages of evaluation prior to the patent award.

"The bioactive isolates are currently undergoing the final stages of preclinical studies to pave the way for clinical trials and drug development," the news release added.

"Since filing for this patent over four years ago, we are pleased to know that it has finally been granted," the release quoted Dr Lowe, who also explained that drug research and development is very expensive and time-consuming.

"The duration of the process is in keeping with drug development from conception to market, which can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years and costs approximately US$1 billion to US$1.5 billion," Dr Lowe said.

This, he added, is particularly burdensome for scientists in developing countries like Jamaica, where resources are limited and the filing and maintenance of patents are very expensive.

The company noted that Dr Lowe and his colleague scientists -- Dr Joseph Bryant and Dr Ngeh Toyang from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, as well as Dr Charah Watson of Bio-Tech R&D -- are particularly encouraged by the news that their work has been regarded as "exceptionally outstanding".

"The team has published 17 original peer reviewed articles in renowned scientific journals as at the end of 2014. Since then, a number of new manuscripts have been completed and are awaiting review and publication," the news release said. "The publications for 2015 are expected to far exceed those of 2014 and will help to make the Jamaican scientific endeavours outstanding."

The Bio-Tech R&D Institute in collaboration with the University of Maryland School of Medicine is primarily focused on cancer research as well as diabetes and HIV/AIDS.

Recently, the institute joined Lowe's new company, Medicanja, in leading research and development of Cannabis for medicinal and commercial projects and programmes in Jamaica, which, Bio-Tech R&D said, "are expected to significantly impact scientific and clinical development, as well as economic benefits to Jamaica".

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon