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Professor Gets U.S. Patent for Drug Discovery


June 19, 2012

Cryptolepine will help combat infection in AIDS, chemotherapy and organ transplant patients.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla
. – Seth Ablordeppey, a Florida A&M University (FAMU) professor in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, has received a United States patent (No. 8,158,646) for extensive modifications to the drug Cryptolepine.  Preliminary tests indicate the drug will be effective at treating infections commonly found in HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy, and organ transplant patients. In addition, it has fewer side effects than several currently used drugs.

“This research has been in the works for more than a decade and I am grateful to FAMU for providing the environment and opportunity for this discovery,” said Ablordeppey. “With the discovery of these new agents we hope to deal one more blow to the opportunistic infections that continue to wreak havoc in our communities.”

Cryptolepine is a series of compounds derived from a native plant of Ghana, West Africa. According to the Center for Disease Control, opportunistic infections that attack weakened immune systems have become increasing problematic in the United States. When compared to drugs currently on the market, the high potency and fewer side affects associated with
Cryptolepine could ultimately combat this problem.

“I am so very proud of Dr. Ablordeppey and the contribution he has made to FAMU’s patent portfolio. Because of his work, FAMU now has a diverse portfolio of pharmaceutical compounds that treat various diseases that disproportionately affect African Americans,” said Tanaga Boozer, director for FAMU Office of Technology Transfer, Licensing and Commercialization. “His patent demonstrates the talent and commitment among FAMU researchers to develop novel drugs, methods, and medical devices that address health disparities in underrepresented populations.”

This is the Ablordeppey’s second patent in two years. In 2010, he received a patent for developing the “Haloperidol Analog,” a method for treating mammals suffering from psychosis.

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