HKBU scientists develop technique to eliminate drug side effects19 May 2020
The novel method paves the way towards the mass production of affordable therapeutic drugs that are made with recyclable materials.
Scientists from Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) have developed a novel technique that can produce pure therapeutic drugs without the associated side effects.
The approach, which uses a nanostructure fabrication device, can manipulate the chirality of drug molecules by controlling the direction a substrate is rotated within the device, thus eliminating the possible side effects that can arise when people take drugs containing molecules with the incorrect chirality.
Published Nature Chemistry, the research findings pave the way towards the mass production of purer, cheaper and safer drugs that can be made in a scalable and more environmentally-friendly way.
Many chemical molecules have two configurations, or chiral versions, that are mirror images of each other. While sharing the same molecular formula, the two chiral versions have different arrangements of their constituent atoms in space. The two versions of the molecules are characterized by left-handed and right-handed chiral configurations like human hands. Molecules with "left-handed" and "right-handed" chirality can have totally different biochemical effects.
More than half of the therapeutic drugs are made up of equal amounts of left-handed and right-handed chiral molecules; one can cure specific diseases, but the other may have adverse effects. Separating and producing molecules with only the chiral arrangement responsible for the therapeutic effects can help to produce drugs with improved safety and efficacy.
Existing technologies for producing single-enantiomer drugs are composed of complicated procedures are expensive and environmentally unfriendly.
Dr Jeffery Huang Zhifeng, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at HKBU, and his research team devised a novel approach to manipulating molecular chirality through macro-scale control in collaboration with Sichuan University, Guangxi Medical University and the Southern University of Science and Technology.
"Our success in manipulating molecular chirality through macroscopic engineering allows the convenient synthesis of drugs in single-enantiomer forms with only left- or right-handedness. Hence, it will help get rid of the adverse, sometimes fatal, side effects of many therapeutic drugs," said Dr Huang.
The use of chiral ligands in the conventional method of asymmetric synthesis is inevitable, and it may cause pollution to enter the environment. In this novel approach, however, the metal nanohelices can be used repeatedly to produce single-enantiomer drugs without the use of chiral ligands. As a result, it paves the way towards the mass production of affordable therapeutic drugs that are made in a scalable manner with recyclable materials.
Vibalogics agrees to additional manufacturing for lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate of J&J unit
18 May 2020
CDMO is contracted to produce multiple clinical batches from German facilityRead more
Characterizing virus and virus-like particles
12 May 2020
New application study describes the separation and characterisation of adeno associated virus serotypes by AF4.Read more
AI technology company launches with Novartis and Sarepta deals
11 May 2020
Collaborations focus on gene therapies for serious eye and muscle diseases using Dyno’s CapsidMap artificial intelligence platform to design AAV vectors.Read more
Bio-Rad launches anti-certolizumab pegol antibodies
5 May 2020
Using this critical antibody reagent at the preclinical stage of development will minimize the need to revalidate assays with different reagents at the clinical development stage.Read more
BERG named visionary in first-ever Frost Radar AI in Drug Discovery report
13 Apr 2020
The biotech pioneer is one of the first companies to develop corporate partnerships in this application of artificial intelligence (AI) for drug discovery.Read more
AstraZeneca "incredibly excited" by lung cancer treatment trial
13 Apr 2020
Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) recommends unblind Phase III trial of Tagrisso 2 years ahead of schedule.Read more
German pharma companies are meeting the corona "stress test"
7 Apr 2020
The head of the leading German pharmaceutical industry organization says German firms are working top-speed to find coronavirus medications.Read more
World’s leading biobanks join a global network to advance personalized healthcare research
6 Apr 2020
The platform enables collaboration between pharmaceutical institutions, healthcare and academic researchers to generate valuable insights and advance medical research.Read more
Servier strengthens its R&D pipeline with Symphogen acquisition
6 Apr 2020
Symphogen becomes the antibody center of excellence within Servier.Read more
Evotec expands into gene therapy with new Austrian unit
6 Apr 2020
Evotec has established a dedicated gene therapy-based R&D site in Orth an der Donau, Austria with the immediate focus of spearheading a partnership with Japan’s Takeda to support its research projects, the German drug discovery firm said Monday.Read more
Are you a supplier
Here's what we can do for you
- Generate quality leads for your business
- Stay visible for 365 days of the year
- Receive product inquiries and respond to meeting requests directly
- Improve company online presence through Search Engine Optimisation