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MCW Researchers Awarded US Patent for Mito-Metformin Compounds and Methods to Treat Cancer

Collaborators in the Department of BiophysicsBalaraman Kalyanaraman, PhD, Harry R. & Angeline E. Quadracci Professor in Parkinson’s Research and chair, and Jacek Zielonka, PhD, DSc, assistant professor – as well as Micael Hardy, PhD, and Olivier Ouari, PhD, of Aix-Marseille Université, France, and Marcos Lopez, PhD, of Universidad de Puerto Rico en Humacao, are inventors on MCW’s recently awarded US Patent 11,247,114 for Modified Mito-Metformin Compounds and Methods of Synthesis and Use Thereof.

This patent pertains to mitochondria-targeting cationic drugs, specifically mito-metformin compounds, and methods of using these compounds to inhibit pancreatic cancer proliferation and progression.

Mito-metformin, also referred to as Mito-Met, is a novel compound developed by adding a mitochondria-targeting molecule, triphenylphosphonium, to metformin. Metformin is an FDA-approved drug for treating type 2 diabetes; it has been used in the clinic for more than 50 years and has an excellent safety profile. The novel mito-metformin compound selectively targets the mitochondria of tumor cells, making it significantly more effective in inhibiting tumor proliferation and growth, and enhancing its radiosensitizing efficacy compared with metformin. This also translates into significantly increased functional activity of mito-metformin in vivo.

More information on this technology is detailed in the article, Mitochondria-Targeted Analogues of Metformin Exhibit Enhanced Antiproliferative and Radiosensitizing Effects in Pancreatic Cancer Cells. Also, the patent can be reviewed online. Thanks to the Office of Technology Development at MCW for facilitating the effort that led to patent protection of this novel compound with promising potential in cancer treatment.