Marine natural products as active anti-cancer agents

Marine natural products have gained increasing importance as a source of potential anticancer agents in the last few decades. Drs. C Ireland and L Barrows are exploring the possibilities to identify novel medicinal compounds having anti-cancer activity. They have identified makaluvamines, a series of cytotoxic marine metabolites, derived from sponges which act as DNA topoisomerase-II inhibitors and sensitized tumor cells, both in cellular based models and mouse tumor model. Naamidine A, also isolated from a marine sponge inhibits the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor and its signaling molecules (ERKs) in the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, which are implicated in some human tumors. Intense efforts are underway to develop and evaluate compunds that target components of MAPK pathway and products like Naamidine A presents a valuable tool for studying the effects of modulation of the MAPK pathway on cell proliferation.

Global sales of marine biotechnology products including anti-cancer compounds exceeded over $3.2 billion in 2007. In 2005 the annual profits from a sea sponge for cancer treatment were about $1 billion. Kinase inhibitors in clinical use had global sales of $4.63 billion in 2005 with a projected growth rate of 20.6% to $11.8 billion by 2010. The identification of a kinase inhibitor like Naamidine A from a marine sponge may open up new avenues of drug research and also provide as a source of new and useful anticancer drugs.

Stage of Development
A PCT application has been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A United States patent 5,574,057 has been awarded for use of ´┐ŻNaamidine A as an anti-tumor agent.
This technology is part of an active and ongoing research program and is available for developmental research support/licensing under either exclusive or non-exclusive terms.

Additional Info
*Barrows et al, (1993) - Makaluvamines, marine natural products, are active anti-cancer agents and DNA topo II inhibitors. Anti-Cancer Drug Design. 8: 333-347.
*Copp BR et al, (1998) - Naamidine A is an antagonist of the EGF receptor and an in vivo active antitumor agent. J. Med.Chem. 41: 3909-3911.
*James RD et al, (2003) - Naamidine A intensifies the phosphotransferase activity of extracellular signal-regulated kinases causing A431 cells to arrest in G1. Mol. Cancer. Therapeutics. 2: 747-751.

US 5,574,057
US 5,414,001

Inventor(s): Louis Barrows, Robert Kramer, Brent Copp, Derek Radisky, Chris Ireland

Type of Offer: Licensing

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