American University of Beirut

HIKMA Pharmaceuticals


NCC/HIKMA Project general Aims:

  • Interdisciplinarity in Pre-clinical Anticancer Drug Discovery
  • Drug extraction, characterization, and derivatization of HNA
  • Anticancer activities of drugs and formulations
  • Drug nanoparticle formulation, optimization, and characterization
The collaborative efforts betw​een the Nature Conservation Center (NCC) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and Hikma Pharmaceuticals aimed on the development of novel synthetic derivatives and nanoparticle formulation of the anticancer drug (HIKMA/NCC drug A) HNA. This exciting project is the first of its kind collaboration between our academic institution and a pharmaceutical company. Our research efforts during the first proposal resulted in the isolation of sesquiterpene lactones from Centaurea ainetensis, a plant species native to Lebanon and the Middle East. In addition, we have synthesized a total of six novel sesquiterpene lactone derivatives and characterized their antitumor properties. Those derivatives exhibited promising and selective anticancer properties in several human tumor models. This research would not have been possible without the close collaboration between researchers in academia and the pharmaceutical industry as well as state-of-the-art research core and animal facilities at AUB.
In collaboration with Hikma Pharmaceuticals, the data generated by AUB researchers will aid in establishing an interdisciplinary platform for drug discovery, optimization techniques, and development, and in bridging basic and translational research between academia and the industry.

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