Another breakthrough for Henry Lowe

Pancreatic cancer drug developed by J'can scientist's company gets nod from US

Monday, November 04, 2019

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Flavocure LLC, the pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) company founded and managed by world renowned Jamaican scientist and entrepreneur Dr Henry Lowe, has received an exclusive patent from the US Government's Patent Office for the use of Caflanone to treat pancreatic cancer.

A news release from the company also disclosed that Flavocure, which is based in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, subsequently received its second orphan drug approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration for the use of Caflanone, also for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Caflanone is a cannabis-based flavonoid that was developed from a very rare cannabis plant strain discovered in Jamaica.

“This particular plant has relatively high concentration of flavonoids peculiar to cannabis. The drug was subsequently synthesised through proprietary methodology and is now available in commercial quantities for clinical trials,” Flavocure said in the release.

Over the weekend, Dr Lowe told the Jamaica Observer that Harvard Medical School has joined the research and the clinical trials in particular. The school's special contribution, he explained, “will be to use cutting-edge technology to deliver the drug by its patented drone technology directly to the cancer tissue and destroy it without the usual side effects which most drugs create”.

Lowe, the executive chairman of Flavocure, noted that the greatest challenge to take the drug to commercialisation is the high costs involved. He said that although Flavocure has been getting adequate private placement support, which has taken the company to where it is today, now that it is moving on to the stage of very expensive clinical trials by the first quarter of 2020, it will require extra funding.

He said that in order to achieve this goal, he is looking to various sources for financing, including additional private placements as well as plans to float Flavocure on the stock market first in Canada and then in the United States, by the first quarter of next year, for approximately US$100 million.

Lowe's research partner, Dr Ngeh Toyang, the CEO of Flavocure, said that the many positive comments received from industry players and colleagues indicate that the patent and orphan drug approval are being recognised internationallity as outstanding achievements for a small company.

Lowe described the patent and the orphan drug designation as very significant, saying that it underscores the company's dynamic and successful innovations and drug development programme.

“To develop a drug, especially coming from a plant source, is extremely difficult and involves a number of challenging steps, including pre-clinical trials, and then clinical trials, prior to going to market,” he explained.

He said that Flavocure, which was born from the work at the Biotech R&D Institute based at The University of the West Indies Mona campus in St Andrew, Jamaica, “demonstrates the potential to overcome the difficult and costly research and development to put Jamaica in the forefront of cancer R&D with the potential not only to deal with major health challenges like cancers, but also to create significant wealth from scientific research and innovation.” Added Lowe: “We are not too small to make a major scientific impact of global significance.”

Flavocure describes itself as “the world leader in the use of flavonoids for the potential treatment of major diseases, particularly cancer”. The company said that in 2017 it was being described in the innovation circles as a rising star in biotechnology, tackling daunting global problems and achieving great results with limited resources.

Flavocure is a member of Dr Lowe's R&D Commercial/Eden Gardens Group of Companies. The company was founded in 2015 and is one of two science-based institutions established in Maryland by Dr Lowe, for the development of novel non-cannabinoid pharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancers and neurodegenerative diseases.

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