Govt to Invest in Locally-Developed Cancer Treatment

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, says the government is looking to invest in a drug developed by a local scientist, Dr. Henry Lowe.

The drug — Cresorol– was developed from cannabis. It treats myeloid leukemia. The drug has been recognised by the United States Food and Drug Administration, FDA, which has granted it orphan-drug designation status.

This is being hailed as a historic achievement by Jamaica, as a developing country.

But Dr. Lowe is bemoaning the limited financial support scientists get from both the government and the private sector.

Minister Wheatley says the government is also exploring how it can encourage the private sector to invest in the development of the drug.

In the meantime, Dr. Lowe says his team is hoping to have another drug — which helps treat brain cancer — approved by the FDA in September.

Meanwhile, Dr. Henry Lowe is warning Jamaica not to lag behind in the medical cannabis or marijuana industry. He says opportunities to tap into the medical cannabis market is slipping away from Jamaica.

Dr. Lowe says he’s frustrated with what he says has been ‘very little action’ on cannabis.