A University of Rochester Medical Center researcher is lead investigator in a patent covering the therapeutic benefits of curcumin, a compound central to a spice commonly used in curries.
The patent was issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday.
Curcumin is a compound that is the principal ingredient in turmeric, a yellow-orange seasoning that gives Indian curries their characteristic color.
The patent focuses on curcumin-derived compounds as treatments for cancers related to male hormones such as prostate, bladder and liver cancers. Curcumin compounds also could be effective in countering testosterone-related conditions such as baldness, acne and excessive body-hair growth.
Chawnshang Chang, director of URMC’s George Whipple Laboratory for Cancer Research, previously has won some two dozen curcumin-related patents for URMC. An acne cream, including ASC-J9, a synthetic curcumin-derived compound developed through Chang’s research, has been found safe and effective in a clinical trial.
The newly won patent is licensed to AndroScience Corp., a San Diego-based company founded by Chang in which UR has an interest. Chang also worked with researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which shares ownership of the patent with UR and AndroScience.
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