Patent Awarded to U of A Researcher for Drug Developed to Fight Baldness

Joshua Sakon, University of Arkansas.
Photo by University Relations

Joshua Sakon, University of Arkansas.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent to the University of Arkansas for a drug developed through research at the university for treatment of hair loss and other disorders.

Joshua Sakon, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the U of A, is one of four co-inventors of the pharmaceutical protein now known as BMD-2341. The patent, titled “Fusion Proteins of Collagen Binding-Domain and Parathyroid Hormone,” was issued June 23 to the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees, the Ochsner Clinic Foundation and the National University Corporation Kagawa University in Japan.

BiologicsMD, a drug discovery firm headquartered at the Arkansas Research and Technology Park, holds the exclusive license to the patented technology and is developing a line of protein therapeutics and drug/device combination products to treat hair loss and baldness.

This is the second U.S. patent awarded to Sakon and his co-inventors for the family of discoveries. In 2013, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded a composition of matter patent for the protein therapeutics for the treatment of osteoporosis and other bone maladies. BiologicsMD also holds the exclusive license for these patents.

“A derivative of the original drug has an effect in reversing or suppressing hair loss,” Sakon said. “Specifically, it could be applied to treat alopecia, a condition in which hair loss occurs in patches on the scalp, or in cases of chemically induced alopecia, which occurs during chemotherapy. The drug has been successful in treating hair loss in mice and I look forward to seeing the drug move into clinical trials.”

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Joshua Sakon, associate professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-7719, jsakon@uark.edu

Chris Branam, research communications writer/editor
University Relations
479-575-4737, cwbranam@uark.edu

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