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Expert Opin Ther Pat. 2013 Feb;23(2):189-202. doi: 10.1517/13543776.2013.743993. Epub 2012 Dec 12.

Novel epigallocatechin gallate analogs as potential anticancer agents: a patent review (2009 - present).

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Oakland University, School of Health Sciences, Biomedical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences, Rochester, MI, USA.



Over the past three years numerous patents and patent applications have been published relating to scientific advances in the use of the green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) (the most abundant, and bioactive compound in green tea) and its analogs as anticancer agents. EGCG affects multiple molecular targets involved in cancer cell proliferation and survival; however, polyphenolic catechins, such as EGCG, generally exhibit poor oral bioavailability. Since the anticancer activity of polyphenols largely depends on their susceptibility to biotransformation reactions, numerous EGCG derivatives, analogs and prodrugs have been designed to improve the stability, bioavailability and anticancer potency of the native compound.


This review focuses on the applications of EGCG and its analogs, derivatives and prodrugs in the prevention and treatment of human cancers. A comprehensive description of patents related to EGCG and its derivatives, analogs and prodrugs and their uses as anticancer agents is included.


EGCG targets multiple essential survival proteins and pathways in human cancer cells. Because it is unstable physiologically, numerous alterations to the EGCG molecule have been patented, either to improve the integrity of the native compound or to generate a more stable yet similarly efficacious molecule. EGCG and its derivatives, analogs and prodrugs could be developed into future drugs for chemoprevention, chemosensitization, radiosensitization and/or cancer interception.

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