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Claims for Patent: 6,844,013

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Claims for Patent: 6,844,013

Title: Methods of stimulating the immune system
Abstract:This invention relates to a compound or group of compounds present in an active principle derived from plants of species Euphorbia peplus, Euphorbia hirta and Euphorbia drummondii, and to pharmaceutical compositions comprising these compounds. Extracts from these plants have been found to show selective cytotoxicity against several different cancer cell lines. The compounds are useful in effective treatment of cancers, particularly malignant melanomas and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the compound is selected from the group consisting of jatrophanes, pepluanes, paralianes and ingenanes, and pharmaceutically-acceptable salts or esters thereof, and more particularly jatrophanes of Conformation II.
Inventor(s): Aylward; James Harrison (St. Lucia, AU)
Assignee: Peplin Research Pty Ltd (Fortitude Valley, AT)
Application Number:09/888,997
Patent Claims: 1. A method for stimulating the immune system in a human subject, the method comprising administering to the human subject in need thereof a therapeutically effective amount of at least one isolated compound selected from the group consisting of an angeloyl-substituted ingenane or salt thereof obtained from the sap of a Euphorbia species and an active derivative of an angeloyl-substituted ingenane or salt thereof obtained from the sap of a Euphorbia species, wherein said active derivative exhibits the same activity as said angeloyl-substituted ingenane.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the Euphorbia species is Euphorbia peplus.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the Euphorbia species is Euphorbia drummondii.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the Euphorbia species is Euphorbia hirta.

5. The method of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the derivative of an angeloyl substituted ingenane obtained from the sap of Euphorbia peplus is an acetylated derivative.

6. The method of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the derivative of an angeloyl-substituted ingenane obtained from the sap of Euphorbia drummondii is an acetylated derivative.

7. The method of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the derivative of an angeloyl substituted ingenane obtained from the sap of Euphorbia hirta is an acetylated derivative.

8. The method of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein at least one compound is from the group consisting of a 20-O-acetyl-ingenol-3-angelate and an ester derivative of a 20-O-acetyl-ingenol-3-angelate.

9. The method of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the compound comprises a pharmaceutically acceptable salt of the 20-O-acetyl-ingenol-3-angelate and the 20-O-acetyl-ingenol-3-angelate ester derivative.

10. The method of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the compound is obtained from by the process of extracting said sap with 95% v/v ethanol, discarding a solid fraction and retaining a soluble fraction.

11. The method of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the compound induces T cells to proliferate.

12. The method of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the compound induces the expression of G-CSF.

13. The method of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the compound induces the expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules.

14. The method of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the compound recruits a natural killer cell to a region of application of the compound.

15. The method of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the compound is provided in the form of a composition comprising a pharmaceutically- or cosmetically-acceptable carrier.
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