DCA and CancerDCA as a Cancer Treatment - Sodium Dichloroacetate

The DCA Patents

21 November 2011. News online reports that the USPTO will grant a patent, 8,071,645, on December 6, 2011 to the University of Colorado for the use of DCA to treat cancer. The patent is licensed to Viral Genetics. Link1 Link2

There are several use patents filed regarding DCA. One patent by Doctors Michelakis and Archer of the University of Alberta, and two patents filed by Dr. Karen Newell of the University of Colorado.

Both patents are, or were, connected to companies attempting to commercial the research:
Michelakis: CardioMetabolics Inc (if site is down, see this archived file)

Additional Links: Award, CEO, article in drugs.com

Newell: Newellink became Agada Pharmaceuticals. The license for the patent is no longer with Agada. Additional links regarding the Newell patents: Budding Bio-Hub, Leo Weinstein, U of C

Update: On 21 May 2009 a press release, "Viral Genetics Has Option Under Issued Key Patent for Cancer Drug" indicates that the Newell patents have been licensed by the University of Colorado to the (public) biotechnology firm Viral Genetics, Inc, whose CEO is Haig Keledjian.

Since nobody can own the DCA molecule, the patents are 'methods of use patents'.

This is best explained in this excerpt from this website: Click Here :
"The research team at the University of Alberta has been working on this project for more than 2 years now. Early on, two of the investigators (Drs Michelakis and Archer) filed for a "use" patent. Although no patent could be filed for DCA itself, a patent could be claimed for its specific use in cancer. Instead of forming a company in order to pursue this privately, Drs Michelakis and Archer requested a partnership with their University. The University of Alberta sponsored the patent application, which became successful as a "provisional" use patent. However, despite trying for a year, the University failed to attract the interest of any investors or biotech companies for the development of the drug. This is likely the result of the fact that the "use" patents are generally considered to be "weaker" than standard patents and therefore they cannot guarantee profit. Eventually, the University considered this patent "high risk" and withdrew its sponsorship, returning the rights and the cost to support it back to the investigators. In theory, it is still possible that investors will still be interested to take over and sponsor the development of the drug. However, there is no question that for the completion of the large amount of the clinical research that will be required before DCA is proven to be effective and safe in humans with cancer, support from non-profit government organizations, like the CIHR or NIH, will be critical."

The Michelakis and Archer Patent

Note that the European patent appears to have been withdrawn


Biblio. Data Description Claims National PhaseNoticesDocuments Latest bibliographic data on file with the International Bureau

Publication Number: WO/2006/108276 International Application No.: PCT/CA2006/000548
Publication Date: 19.10.2006 International Filing Date: 11.04.2006

Int. Class.: A61K 31/19 (2006.01), A61P 35/00 (2006.01), C12Q 1/00 (2006.01)
Applicants: THE GOVERNORS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA [CA/CA]; #4000 Research Transition Facility, 8308 - 114 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E1 (CA) (All Except US).
MICHELAKIS, Evangelos [CA/CA]; 8728-103 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6E 6K3 (CA) (US Only).
ARCHER, Stephen [CA/CA]; 450 Olsen Close, Edmonton, Alberta T6R 1L1 (CA) (US Only).
Inventors: MICHELAKIS, Evangelos [CA/CA]; 8728-103 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6E 6K3 (CA).
ARCHER, Stephen [CA/CA]; 450 Olsen Close, Edmonton, Alberta T6R 1L1 (CA).
Agent: NADOR, Anita; McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Box 48, Suite 4700, Toronto Dominion Bank Tower, Toronto, Ontario M5K 1E6 (CA).
Priority Data: 60/669,884 11.04.2005 US


The invention relates to the use of dichloroacetate and chemical equivalents thereof for the treatment of cancer by inducing apoptosis or reversing apoptosis-resistance in a cell Preferably, the dosage is 10-100 mg/kg Preferably, sodium dichloroacetate is used. The dichloroacetate may optionally be given in combination with a pro-apoptotic agent and/or a chemotherapeutic agent Preferably, the cancers treated are non-small cell lung cancer, glioblastoma and breast carcinoma.

"In yet another embodiment, the dichloroacetate is administered in a water- based formulation. In one embodiment the water-based formulation of DCA comprises 0.0075g of DCA/1 to 7.5 g of OCAJl). In another embodiment the dichloroacetate or obvious chemical equivalent thereof is administered at a total daily dose of ~25-50mg/kg bid of dichloroacetate. In another embodiment the dose is 10-100 mg/kg given twice a day is administered to the patient. In one embodiment the dose is 25-50 mg bid." (acronym 'bid' means Bis In Die, Latin for Twice A Day)

Designated States: AE, AG, AL, AM, AT, AU, AZ, BA, BB, BG, BR, BW, BY, BZ, CA, CH, CN, CO, CR, CU, CZ, DE, DK, DM, DZ, EC, EE, EG, ES, FI, GB, GD, GE, GH, GM, HR, HU, ID, IL, IN, IS, JP, KE, KG, KM, KN, KP, KR, KZ, LC, LK, LR, LS, LT, LU, LV, LY, MA, MD, MG, MK, MN, MW, MX, MZ, NA, NG, NI, NO, NZ, OM, PG, PH, PL, PT, RO, RU, SC, SD, SE, SG, SK, SL, SM, SY, TJ, TM, TN, TR, TT, TZ, UA, UG, US, UZ, VC, VN, YU, ZA, ZM, ZW.
African Regional Intellectual Property Org. (ARIPO) (BW, GH, GM, KE, LS, MW, MZ, NA, SD, SL, SZ, TZ, UG, ZM, ZW)
Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO) (AM, AZ, BY, KG, KZ, MD, RU, TJ, TM)
European Patent Office (EPO) (AT, BE, BG, CH, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, HU, IE, IS, IT, LT, LU, LV, MC, NL, PL, PT, RO, SE, SI, SK, TR)
African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) (BF, BJ, CF, CG, CI, CM, GA, GN, GQ, GW, ML, MR, NE, SN, TD, TG).
Publication Language: English (EN)
Filing Language: English (EN)

Diagrams from Michelakis and Archer Patent application

This is the link to Dr. Michelakis's European patent application. It is complete and easy to study.

In addition, there are other patents for the use of DCA in medical work. Here are a couple:

Postsurgical treatment with dichloroacetate. Inventors: Lopaschuk, Gary (Edmonton, CA)/ Collins-nakai, Ruth (Edmonton, CA) / Teo, Koon (Edmonton, CA) / Dyck, Jason R. B. (Houston, TX). Application number 10/052453. Filed 18 January 2002.

Reduction of elevated blood lactate using twice-daily dichloroacetate. Assigned to Cypros Pharmaceutical Corporation (Carlsbad, CA). Filed 8 June 1995. Application number 08/488977. This patent has information on injected DCA.

The Newell Patents

There are two patent applications on file with the USPTO relating to dichloroacetate use filed by Dr. Karen Newell Rogers

"Systems and methods for treating human inflammatory and proliferative diseases and wounds, with fatty acid metabolism inhibitors and/or glycolytic inhibitors. " US Patent Application Number 20050020682 Filed June 11, 2004. Inventors Karen M. Newell, Evan Newell and Elizabeth Villalobos-Menuey.

"Systems and methods for treating human inflammatory and proliferative diseases and wounds, with UCP and/or FAS antibody or other inhibitor, optionally with a fatty acid metabolism inhibitor and/or a glucose metabolism inhibitor." US Patent Application Number 20060140953 Filed January 7, 2005. Inventors Evan Newell, Karen M. Newell and Elizabeth Villalobos-Menuey.

In addition, there are two international patents.



The patents are connected to these research papers:
Characterization of a novel metabolic strategy used by drug-resistant tumor cells published in The FASEB Journal in 2002. The work discusses the metabolic differences between drug-sensitive and drug-resistant cancer cells.
Cellular metabolism as a basis for immune privilege. 2006, Journal of Immune Based Therapies and Vaccines. This paper extends the previous work and advances the concept that changes in cell metabolism dictate immune response.

The patents center on the use "of a fatty acid metabolism inhibitor, a glycolytic inhibitor, and/or an agent able to alter cellular production of reactive oxygen, or combination thereof, optionally in combination with one or more chemotherapeutic agents."

Whereas the Michelakis patent gives us information on the direct use of DCA, the Newell work gives us ideas on how to make DCA even more effective.

This expansion of the use of DCA, and the need to do it, is explained in Metabolic Targeting as an Anticancer Strategy: Dawn of a New Era? by James G. Pan and Tak W. Mak, 2007.