Jamaica Observer:– Jamaican scientist Dr Henry Lowe says he and his research partners have found molecules in cannabis and the Jamaican ball moss that can fight prostate cancer.
“We have made a lot of new strides in that area in that we have done research and development, and we have, through cannabis, found some new molecules which can treat prostate cancer,” Lowe told the Jamaica Observer last Wednesday ahead of the CanEx Jamaica Business Conference and Expo, which ended yesterday.
“Only recently we developed some data with a colleague of ours from the University of Maryland for a drug developed for the treatment of prostate cancer. We are going to be moving this forward, but I can’t say too much about it at this stage. But we should have an agreement ready in the next month or so. It’s going to be big,” Dr Lowe said.
Dr Ngeh Toyang, senior scientist and research partner at Lowe’s Flavocure Biotech lab in Maryland, United States, explained in simple terms some of the high-level bio-molecular findings.
“Our research has been to actually identify molecules that can be developed for the treatment of prostate cancer,” he told the Sunday Observer in a phone interview.
“We were able to identify a very potent molecule in ball moss which we sent to the National Cancer Institute in the US and they screened it to validate it with results we have received in our labs from the initial screening of the molecule. The result that was found basically validated the potency of the molecule and we have been working for further development,” Dr Toyang explained.
“We have been able to show that the molecule has an effect on a process called angiogenesis which is actually a process whereby cancer cells form new blood cells so that they are able to supply the cancer cells with the nutrients that they need to grow. What our molecule does is that it blocks the formation of those new blood vessels, so we call it anti-androgenic activity, so they are not able to develop new blood cells to go and be feeding the cancer cells,” Dr Toyang added.
Dr Lowe also shared that since receiving a patent from the United States Patent Office for a novel method of making group compounds extracted from the Jamaican ball moss in 2015, more research has been done to create effective treatment for prostate cancer.
“We started serious research, looking at prostate cancer about 10 years ago when we discovered that the ball moss can in fact be very effective against prostate cancer. But beyond all of this and the patent, we have done more advanced scientific work on prostate cancer. We go even further because we realise that prostate cancer is the biggest killer of black men,” Dr Lowe said.
“We did two things: One, we developed the first drug and formula for Alpha Prostate cancer supplement, which is now being prescribed by doctors. In fact, it’s now being sold in the United States, Canada, and as far away as Australia. That is a product that is on the market and is doing very well,” he continued.
The second development, he said, was public education, resulting in the publication of a guide on prostate cancer treatment which he co-authored with Dr Perceval Bahado-Singh.
“What is even more important is that we have been committed to prostate cancer management for many years, and we have done the development of the book, The Prostate Guide, a resource for Jamaican men and their families, published in 2010. We have to do a reprint of it because it is eight years old and lots of things have come up, so we’re going to do more about that,” he concluded.
Richard Kildare, group chief executive officer of the R&D Commercial Holdings Group, owned by Dr Lowe, shared that Alpha Prostate has received positive feedback from both physicians and patients.
“Primarily, we have had huge reviews. Persons who have done testimonials for us, they spoke about, for example, that they do find that there is reduction in the size of the prostate. There are doctors who have now started in some cases to send prescriptions to us to give them the product, indicating that in most cases persons using it over three months or four months have found that their PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level reduced to what is was before. And we have had persons from the professional field who are trained chemists, bio-chemists, who have given testimonials on that basis and they are strong believers in the Alpha Prostate,” Kildare explained.