Pharmacy Professor Receives Patent for Antibody

Rocco Rotello, Cedarville School of Pharmacy

Rocco Rotello, Ph.D., recently received a patent for creating an antibody that promotes the growth of new blood vessels. Scott L. Huck / Cedarville University

by Public Relations

June 30, 2011

Rocco Rotello, Ph.D., is Cedarville University’s newest pharmacy professor. He began his career at the university July 1, contributing to the development of the school’s research and professional course development.

Rotello previously worked for Procter & Gamble (P&G) Pharmaceuticals for 16 years. While there, Rotello and his colleagues began developing an antibody that would promote angiogenesis, or the growth of new blood vessels from preexisting vessels.

“Many people don’t have the necessary amount of blood vessels, especially in their lower limbs such as the legs,” shares Rotello. “For these people, walking even 100 feet is agonizing. Our goal was to create an antibody that would stimulate blood-vessel growth, thus allowing the body to deliver the necessary amount of blood to the respective limbs.”

An antibody is a “Y”-shaped protein used by the immune system to ward off foreign substances, bacteria and viruses. Additionally, antibodies can identify objects in the body in need of regulation. In this case, the antibody binds to a specific receptor of a cell located on the blood vessel. After this process, the cell signals blood-vessel growth.

During the testing process, Rotello and his colleagues found that the antibody they had created worked; new blood vessels began to grow. Moreover, Rotello found that the new blood vessels tended to be stronger than the preexisting blood vessels.

“The hope is that the antibody will produce similar results in the next phases of testing and can be administered to those who need it,” says Rotello.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,200 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.

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