UNC Pharmacy Professors Receive Patent For New Cancer Treatment

8/31/17

Three UNC-Chapel Hill professors from the Eshelman School of Pharmacy received a patent for a new compound to treat childhood leukemia and other forms of cancer, according to a filing Tuesday with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Xiaodong Wang, Stephen Frye and Dmitri Kireev, along with three other individuals, filed for the patent in late February 2016.

According to the patent application, acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common malignancy in children, and common varieties are cured by chemotherapy in 75 percent to 85 percent of the cases.

However, resistance to and relapse from therapy is a major cause of pediatric cancer death. In addition, all chemotherapies can cause complications that are increasingly recognized in pediatric survivor populations.

Wang, who directs medicinal chemistry at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, is listed as the first inventor on the patent. She is currently focused on developing small molecule inhibitors as clinical candidates to treat pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Frye is a professor and director of the Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery. Frye is also the lead principal investigator for the North Carolina Comprehensive Chemical Biology Center, a UNC-based center that engages in oncology drug discovery.

Kireev is a research professor and director of computational biophysics and molecular design, which develops and applies computational tools to advance the understanding of complex biological systems and discover therapies for unmet medical needs.

The patent can be found here.

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