HIV/AIDS, cancer and organ failure, these are just a few life threatening diseases that can weaken the immune system and make way for infections to come in and ravage the bodies of already sick patients. But that could all change soon. 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.
According to the Center for Disease Control Cryptolepine is a series of compounds derived from a native plant of Ghana, West Africa. The high potency and fewer side affects associated with Cryptolepine could help to fight off opportunistic infections that attack weakened immune systems have become increasing problematic in the United States, making Dr. Ablordeppey’s patent a big deal in the medical community.
According to Dr. Ablordeppey:
“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. 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.”
And of course the students and staff at FAMU are happy to hear the news as well. Tanaga Boozer, director for FAMU Office of Technology Transfer, Licensing and Commercialization sang nothing but praises and said Dr. Ablordeppey’s patent shows the dedication FAMU has addressing the health needs of its community:
“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. 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 isn’t the first groundbreaking patent for the FAMU professor. In 2010, he received a patent for developing the “Haloperidol Analog,” a method for treating mammals suffering from psychosis.