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Al-Quds University Researcher Files New Patent for Cancer Cell Division Inhibitors

The Associate Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy at Al-Quds University, Dr. Youssef Najajreh, has submitted a request to register a new Palestinian-origin and development patent with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO-PCT). The patent focuses on the identification and discovery of compounds that inhibit the cellular division of cancer cells. This achievement is the result of years of work in designing and preparing novel chemical compounds that effectively halt the proliferation/division of leukemia cancer cells.

Dr. Najajreh's studies on acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells have revealed that some of these compounds have a significant ability to impede cell multiplication or "proliferation" (antiproliferative effect). Furthermore, these compounds have shown highly selective inhibition of the growth of cells that rely on specific mutations contributing to the development of drug resistance.

Dr. Najajreh added that the patent registration process went through several stages. It began with the filing of a provisional application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on October 21, 2021. Subsequently, the registration was carried out with the WIPO-PCT, which ensures protection in all member states (157 countries under the International Patent Cooperation Treaty). The patent safeguards all chemical compounds, their derivatives and analogs, compositions containing them, as well as their uses for a period of 18 months from the filing date, which was October 21, 2022.

Dr. Najajreh, a medicinal chemist specializing in anticancer drugs, emphasized that the research project, which was initiated many years ago, aimed to discover and develop innovative compounds that work through a mechanism different from approved drugs. These compounds could potentially become drugs for the treatment of leukemia and other blood cancers, but further necessary development processes are required.

He pointed out that this registration phase opens up new prospects for advancing to subsequent research and development stages. This includes conducting essential and required studies to enhance and improve the characteristics of these compounds. It also involves expanding our understanding and knowledge of their mechanism of action, performance, and effectiveness in animal models of diseases currently under investigation. If outstanding effectiveness and potential toxicity are confirmed in suitable animal models, there is hope for transitioning these compounds (or their improved derivatives) to the clinical study phase, as biological tests have already been conducted in specialized laboratories in Europe.

Dr. Najajreh mentioned that one of the discovered compounds prepared in the Anti-Cancer Drug Research Laboratory at Al-Quds University has shown a direct ability to overcome cancer resistance, whether used alone or in combination with approved drugs by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The registration of this patent is the culmination of years of dedicated research efforts by Dr. Najajreh and his partner research teams. They have worked on the design, preparation, purification, and characterization of novel compound collections (families) intended to halt the division and proliferation of cancer cells, particularly those that have acquired resistance to available therapies.

These research findings provide evidence of a hopeful direction towards developing innovative treatments for blood cancers. Dr. Najajreh confirms that if the research work continues to advance this project to more advanced stages of experimentation, it could pave the way for new therapeutic options.

It is worth noting that Dr. Youssef Najajreh, a researcher at Al-Quds University, has previously collaborated with a team from Western University in Canada to register the first joint Palestinian-Canadian patent with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO-PCT) in the field of stimulating treatment for triple-negative breast cancer.

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