A researcher from the Faculty of Pharmacy at Al-Quds University (AQU) was granted a patent from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for small libraries of novel chemical entities that are able to overcome cancer resistance towards approved therapies.
Dr. Yousef Najajreh has successfully submitted a new patent application to the World Intellectual Property Organization-Patent Cooperation Treaty (WIPO-PCT). The current application protects the Intellectual Properties (IPs) that are associated with the discovery and use of novel chemical compounds designed and prepared at the Anticancer Drugs Research Lab and exhibited a noteworthy ability to block the proliferation of leukemic cells.
The studies conducted by Dr. Najajreh and his colleagues revealed that some of these compounds are potent antiproliferative inhibitors on acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cancer cell lines and exert significant hindrance on their multiplication. Additionally, some of the compounds have a profound inhibitory effect against cells that depend for their growth on some oncogenic mutants that contribute to the development of resistance to anti-leukemic drugs. So far, the medicinal chemistry part was conducted at the Anticancer Drugs Research lab while the biological studies were carried out in specialized laboratories in Europe.
According to Yousef, one of these compounds, discovered and prepared in the Anti-Cancer Drug Research Laboratory at Al-Quds University, displayed a direct ability to overcome cancer resistance of mutated cell lines and of Patient-Derived Long-Term Cultures (PD-LTCs). The activity was exhibited either alone or when administered in combination with other antileukemic FDA approved drugs.
Dr. Najajreh, a medicinal chemist specializing in anticancer drugs, also indicated that the research project was launched years ago, and aimed at discovering and developing innovative compounds that plausibly will act in a distinct mechanism compared to currently approved antileukemic drugs.
The current patent application was the culmination of tireless efforts over years. Dr. Yousef Najajreh and partner teams launched the design, preparation, purification, and characterization of the prepared compounds. Then, the newly synthesized compounds were assessed for the ability to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, particularly those that have gained resistance to available drug therapies at international partners’ labs mainly in Europe.
The accumulated results of this project pave the way for new directions and opportunities in the scope of developing innovative treatments as well as for a new hope to reduce the suffering of blood cancer patients. “This is preconditioned by pursuing the research activities that will kick this project towards advanced levels of experiments”, Dr. Najajreh confirms.
It is noteworthy that Najajreh together with a team researcher from the University of Western Ontario has co-invented and registered (2022) the first Palestinian-Canadian joint patent in the chemosensitizing resistant triple-negative breast cancer to treatment at WIPO-PCT.