Terpenoid-type quinones for treatment of diabetes. Invented by Rosa P. Ubillas, Jolad D. Shivanand, Christopher D. Mendez, Diana M. Fort, Joseph L. Evans, and Jian Luo; all of California. Assigned to Shaman Pharmaceuticals, Inc., South San Francisco, CA. U.S. Patent 5,674,900, issued October 7, 1997.
The patent covers novel terpenoid-type quinones obtained from Pycnanthus angolensis (Welw.) Warb., Myristicaceae, the processes for obtaining the novel terpenoid-type quinones, and methods for their use as hypoglycemic agents to treat diabetes. The novel terpenoid-type quinones are obtained from the leaves and stems of P. angolensis and are useful for lowering the blood glucose levels of insulin-dependent (type I) and non-insulin-dependent (type II) diabetes.
Hypoglycemic agent from Cryptolepis. Invented by Jian Luo, Diana M. Fort, Donald E. Bierer, and Reimar C. Bruening all of California. Assigned to Shaman Pharmaceuticals, Inc., South San Francisco, CA. U.S. Patent 5,629,319, issued May 13, 1997.
This patent covers use of extracts from Cryptolepis spp., and use of the quindoline alkaloids such as quindoline and cryptolepine contained therein, as hypoglycemic agents, as well as methods for obtaining the hypoglycemic agents. Preferably, the extracts are derived from Cryptolepis sanguinolenta (Lindl.) Schltr., Asclepiadaceae. The agents are useful for treating insulin-dependent (type I) and non-insulin-dependent (type II) diabetes.
Cryptolepine analogs with hypoglycemic activity. Invented by Donald E. Bierer of Daly City, CA. Assigned to Shaman Pharmaceuticals, Inc., South San Francisco, CA. U.S. Patent 5,681,958, issued October 28, 1997.
Naturally occurring quindoline and cryptolepine alkaloids, such as those described in Shaman patent 5,629,319, have moved another stage along the product development pipeline. This patent protects novel cryptolepine analogs useful as hypoglycemic agents, methods for their use as hypoglycemic agents, for example, in the treatment of diabetes, and a method for their synthesis. The conversion of the naturally occurring alkaloids into proprietary, modified (synthesized) compounds is the key to successful patenting of a plant or plant-based pharmaceutical.
GINKGOLIDE PAF ANTAGONISTS
Treatment of skin diseases using ginkgolide PAF antagonists. Invented by Ruth Korth, D-80639, Munich, Federal Republic of Germany. Assigned to Ruth Korth, Munich, Federal Republic of Germany. U.S. Patent 5,605,927, issued February 25, 1997.
Treatment and prevention of certain skin disorders, including sclerotic, genetic, and thermic diseases, by the topical or oral administration of an effective amount of natural ginkgolides. The skin diseases that respond are those mediated by lyso-platelet-activating factors (PAFs) that can be inactivated by lyso-PAF antagonists. The inventor has identified ginkgolides as lyso-PAF antagonists. The PAFs play a critical role in the inflammatory process, and therefore in the development of these skin diseases. The bibliographic references cite extensive research on PAF receptors and antagonists, and in vitro and in vivo studies of agents that can interfere with the inflammatory process. The strength of this patent may relate more to the cellular biology research behind it, and to the identification of one possible mechanism of action of Ginkgo biloba, than to the patenting of a plant or plant product per se.
Article copyright American Botanical Council.
By Karen Dean