Scientists from NCFU have Improved the Natural Properties of Substances to Treat Malaria, Cancer

26 August 2020

GMP News

Scientists from the North-Caucasus Federal University (NCFU) have created a method for synthesizing an analogue of a natural substance used to fight malaria and cancer cells. Work at the atomic level made it possible to enhance the properties of the substance and make it more accessible.

“Researchers were able to improve methods for the reproduction of indoloquinolines to increase the bioavailability of drugs based on them. <…> They managed to interfere with the arrangement of atoms, change the set of substituents and thereby affect the activity of indoloquinolines where it is necessary to reduce the level of toxicity and enhance medicinal properties. By rearranging, it was possible to create an analogue of isocryptolepine, which fights cancer cells a thousand times more effectively,” the statement reads.

Indoloquinolines are the analogs of a natural alkaloid isocryptolepine, which is found in the roots of a South African plant and has been used in traditional medicine for many years to treat malaria, and it can also fight some types of cancer. Aminat Gasanova, a postgraduate student at NCFU, together with the scientific adviser of the project, Doctor of Chemical Sciences Nikolai Aksenov, is working on new methods of synthesizing the substance. Changing the properties of the original substance makes it possible to enhance its effect on cells, to make its production more accessible.

The researchers received several grants from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) to continue their study. “It is very important that the [RFBR] competition is aimed at supporting postgraduate students of the first and second year who already have certain achievements. We have submitted 28 applications and received 22 grants. This is a very serious result, proving that a new promising generation of young researchers is being formed at the North Caucasus Federal University”, explained the rector of the university Dmitry Bespalov.

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