A new era of therapy has dawned for high-grade glioma patients thanks to an injectable form of chlorogenic acid developed by Jiuzhang Company. A natural compound found in a variety of plants, chlorogenic acid is known for its antioxidant and antibacterial effects and is also associated with lowering blood sugar levels.However, it is difficult to produce in large amounts and its association with respiratory allergy has been a concern.
Inspired by the ingredients of a traditional Chinese medicine, Jie Zhang has been investigating chlorogenic acid since 2000.“It’s green and safe,” said Zhang, “I’m intrigued by its low toxicity and high antitumor efficacy.”Years of effort coupled with large investment led to the successful extraction of high-purity chlorogenic acid from plants.Zhang’s team also solved the sensitization issue and obtained soluble chlorogenic acid for medical use.
A small-molecule compound, chlorogenic acid can pass through the blood–brain barrier and induce cell differentiation, thereby turning tumour cells into healthy cells.“It works through the human immune system and has the potential to work well with PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor,” said Xiaoguang Chen from the Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, who conducted a pharmacodynamic study for Zhang.
“I’m grateful for the support of Dr. Chen and Dr. Li,” said Zhang, “The industry–research–clinical service partnership is essential for the new drug R&D”. The collaboration continues as the team explores therapies for other malignant tumours.