SPRINGFIELD, MA (11/23/2021) Western New England University’s (WNE) College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences was recently awarded a $300,000 research grant from Quercis Pharma. The grant, The Role of Isoquercetin and/or Zafirlukast in the inhibition and possible treatment of cancer and such other diseases is a four-year grant that will allow further development of the University’s patented work on Zafirlukast in combination with Quercis’s patented Isoquercetin blend.
Isoquercetin belongs to a family of compounds known as flavonoids. Flavonoids, found in many fruits, vegetables, and in wine are rich in antioxidants and have been shown to provide multiple health benefits. This study will further explore the use of Isoquercetin and its potential synergism with Zafirlukast as a potential treatment for cancer and thrombotic diseases which are significantly more common in cancer patients. The combination of these two agents may help prevent this significant issue as Zafirlukast has the ability to inhibit thrombosis without altering bleeding times.
The grant will fund a PhD studentship in the laboratory of Dr. Daniel Kennedy, Department of Pharmaceutical and Administrative Sciences Chair and Professor of Pharmacology. Dr. Kennedy’s laboratory explores a new class of drugs that can potentially treat diseases such as cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and pulmonary emboli. This work will expand on Dr. Kennedy’s current NIH funded study exploring Zafirlukast for this purpose which is undergoing a Phase II clinical trial.
“This grant will further establish WNE as the preeminent institution in pharmacy, and pharmaceutical science education in Western Massachusetts,” says Dr. Kennedy. “WNE students have the opportunity to work with internationally renowned faculty on their innovative research projects through our professional PharmD program or graduate program in Pharmaceutical Sciences or Pharmacogenomics.
The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences educates future-focused leaders in the health and wellness fields through innovative doctoral, master’s, and dual degree programs. Collaborative faculty research, including research with students, is a hallmark of the masters and doctoral experience.
Quercis Pharma AG, a private, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, and Western New England University entered into a worldwide license agreement in May 2021 for the exclusive rights to develop and market Zafirlukast in a variety of medical indications.
Western New England University (WNE) is a private, nationally ranked, comprehensive institution with a focus on preparing work-ready and world-ready graduates. Founded in 1919 in Springfield, Massachusetts as a division of Northeastern College, WNE’s 215-acre suburban campus serves more than 3,700 students, including over 2,500 full-time undergraduates. More than 47,000 alumni have earned degrees through its 90+ undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs at Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and School of Law. Students come from 39 U.S. states and territories and 23 countries. Of 45,104 living alumni, 30% remain within the region, residing in the four Western Massachusetts counties and northern Connecticut.
WNE is classified among nationally ranked universities in US News and World Report, and among the Top 100 Undergraduate Engineering programs, and in the Doctoral/Professional Universities category in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.