Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Turning the tables on drug discovery

26.05.2006


EUREKA project E! 2314 O’SCREEN reverses the traditional screening process used to discover potentially active new pharmaceutical compounds. Testing single, targeted molecules rather than tens of thousands it promises vastly increased efficiency in drug discovery.



Until now, new molecules with the potential to be developed as drugs have been discovered by screening thousands of candidate new molecules and developing those showing potential activity in some therapeutic area. But the process is extremely expensive and wasteful. Now, a radical new option couples this unique approach with bioinformatics resources.

Reverse approach


Project coordinator Dr Jean-Yves Berthon from French pharmaceuticals company Greentech explains the way this ‘reverse approach’ developed. “We have a large database of 30,000 plants, with information on their botany, physiology, chemical components and their applications; also another database on 300,000 natural molecules coming from plants. We reasoned that if we had an idea of what molecules would have a particular pharmaceutical effect, we could find a natural source in our databases.” Greentech’s partner in the project was Drug Discovery Ltd, part of the natural products business of the Strathclyde Institute for Drug Research in Scotland, which has focused on identifying lead molecules from natural sources for drug development.

The method starts with knowledge of the key enzymes involved in particular diseases, such as acetylcholinesterase in the case of Alzheimer’s disease. Project team biochemists researched and identified what chemical entities (ligands) could be attached to the enzyme to alter its behaviour. They then consulted the databases of plant-derived molecules and plants to discover the natural sources of the ligands which could influence the enzyme. Identified in this way substances can then be extracted from the identified plant material and subjected to early-stage potentiality testing.

Fast and effective

Once potential compounds are confirmed, they can be supplied to pharmaceutical companies under licence in an easy-to-use condition, coated onto microplates ready for further studies and the development of the drug substance. Developing new drugs in this way is much faster than using conventional screening. It is also possible to reduce the side effects of conventionally-developed drugs - as the potential drug has been designed to achieve a particular change on the enzyme involved in the illness, and is less likely to interact with other systems.

The success generated by this EUREKA project has enabled Greentech to found Greenpharma, a new company entirely dedicated to pharmaceutical discovery. The future looks even brighter as Greentech itself has tripled its turnover by applying the technique to cosmetics and nutraceuticals.

Catherine Shiels | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eureka.be/inaction/viewSuccessStory.do?docid=1719838

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Error-free into the Quantum Computer Age

A study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.

In order to reach their full potential, today’s quantum computer prototypes have to meet specific criteria: First, they have to be made bigger, which means...

Im Focus: Search for planets with Carmenes successful

German and Spanish researchers plan, build and use modern spectrograph

Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers, among them scientists from the University of Göttingen, have been hunting for exoplanets with the “Carmenes”...

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Single-photon detector can count to 4

18.12.2017 | Information Technology

Quantum memory with record-breaking capacity based on laser-cooled atoms

18.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How much soil goes down the drain -- New data on soil lost due to water

18.12.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>