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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Anti-inflammatory compound
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A natural product, a lipid, has been identified which appears to possess the types of unique properties which are currently considered valuable in the search for new types of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. A drug containing this new compound could offer several advantages over existing anti-inflammatory drugs because it blocks only one biochemical pathway- that of lipoxin biosynthesis. All of the currently used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs- including aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen inhibit two pathways, leukotriene biosynthesis and lipoxin biosynthesis. Pharmaceutical companies have been searching for a drug that blocks only the lipoxin pathway. It is thought that a drug with this property would work especially well in treating the types of inflammatory conditions associated with asthma and atherosclerosis. More recently, in vivo bioassays conducted with the natural product indicated that the natural product exhibits anti-inflammatory activity in an arachidonic acid-induced topical bioassay system. While the positive control, indomethacin inhibited the inflammation by 56%, the natural product inhibited inflammation by 41%.

The new lipid tested negative for fungicidal, herbicidal, and insecticidal properties. In addition, the compound was proven non-toxic to several types of cancer cells as well as to HIV infected cells. The scientists believe the fact that the compound did not exhibit any type of toxicity in these systems enhances the value for pharmacological use because compounds that are toxic to cancer cells can harm healthy cells as well.

Patent Status:
Patent Application 08/844,631 filed April 1, 1997.

Responsible Scientist/Engineer:
Dr. Robert A. Moreau
Eastern Regional Research Center
600 East Mermaid Lane
Wyndmoor, PA 19038
(215) 233-6428

Technology Transfer Contact:
Victor (Vic) Chavez
(215) 233-6610


Last Modified: 8/12/2016
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