Use of Sterculic Acid to Treat Choroidal Neovascularization

Sterculic acid is a naturally occurring cyclopropene acid present in kapok seed oil, cottonseed oil, and in the seeds of the Sterculia foetida tree. Sterculic acid has been reported to be a non-specific inhibitor of stearoyl-Co desaturase (SCD), which has been implicated in several disease states, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, skin disease, hypertension, neurological diseases, immune disorders and cancer (Ntambi JM, J. Lipid Res., 1999, 40(9):1549-1558). NIH investigators have recently discovered that sterculic acid inhibits the neovascularization of the chick chorioallantonic membrane demonstrating that this compound exhibits a potent anti-angiogenic activity. Further, the NIH investigators have shown that sterculic acid inhibits the formation of choroidal neovascularization in the retina of laser treated rats. These results suggest that sterculic acid possesses anti-angiogenic effect likely through regulating genes involved in the angiogenic process.

The present invention is directed to methods of using sterculic acid for the treatment of inflammation, in particular, 7-ketocholesterol mediated inflammation, 7-ketocholesterol cytotoxicity, or unregulated angiogenesis. Diseases mediated by 7-ketocholesterol-induced inflammation and 7-ketocholesterol cytotoxicity include atherosclerosis age-related macular degeneration, and Alzheimer's disease. Diseases mediated by unregulated angiogenesis include certain cancers and age-related macular degeneration. Also disclosed are methods of treating atherosclerosis or Alzheimer's disease using sterculic acid.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Therapeutics for inflammation, in particular, atherosclerosis, age-related macular degeneration, and Alzheimer's disease.

Development Stage:
  • Early-stage
  • In vitro data available
  • In vivo data available (animal)


Ignacio Rodriguez (NEI)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
U.S. Pat: 8,993,626 issued 2015-03-31
PCT Application No. PCT/US2011/041766
US Application No. 13/805,429
International patents issued: 2011270754 (Australia), EP2585057 (UK, Germany, France); International patent application pending: 2803923 (Canada)

Collaboration Opportunity:

The National Eye Institute (NEI), Laboratory of Retinal Cell and Molecular Biology, is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize sterculic acid, and its derivatives for the treatment of diseases related to angiogenesis or mediated by 7-ketocholesterol-induced inflammation. Please contact Alan Hubbs, Ph.D. at for more information.

Licensing Contact:
Lynne Huang, Ph.D.
Phone: 240-276-5530

OTT Reference No: E-092-2010/0
Updated: Jan 24, 2018