NC A&T University

Triad professor receives patent for cancer-fighting compounds

September 26, 2017

Read the original article by Jessica Seaman from the Triad Business Journal.

A professor at N.C. A&T State University has received a patent for compounds that have the potential to prevent and treat cancer, the university announced.

Shengmin Sang, PhD

Shengmin Sang received the patent for combining aspirin and ginger derivatives. By combing the compounds with anti-cancer properties, they become more effective in killing colon cancer cells, according to the university.

This is the second patent Sang has received for an aspirin-derived compound; he received another in 2015. N.C. A&T said it has signed a licensing agreement with SARISA Therapeutics, based in Minneapolis, to commercialize the patented aspirin-derived compounds.

Sang is the lead scientist for functional foods at the university’s Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. Funding for Sang’s research came from the National Institutes of Health and the N.C. Biotechnology Center.

In March, Sang received the Innovation for Impact’s Grand Prize, a competition co-sponsored by the local arm of the Biotechnology Center and SoBran BioScience, for his research to prevent colon cancer by pairing aspirin with an active ingredient in ginger. The price included a pre-clinical research study valued at $10,000 and $1,000 in cash.

The compounds developed by Sang are prodrugs, which means they become active when they are metabolized.

“Our idea is to use a combination of natural products with aspirin,” Sang said. “We use a prodrug approach to reduce the side effects caused by aspirin and to enhance the overall efficacy.”

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