The “Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Antiparasitic Therapy” (PARADET) Research Group from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and Burua Scientific have reached an agreement to collaborate in the discovery of new antiprotozoal (Trichomonas vaginalis, Trypanosoma cruzi) molecules.
The research group lead by Jose Antonio Escario and Alicia Gomez Barrio has extensive experience in the discovery and in vitro evaluation of synthetic chemical compounds, plant extracts and drugs marketed for other uses (drug-repurposing) and even with compounds predicted to be potentially active by in silico models against different parasitic protozoa. This research line has crystallized in the discovery of potent compounds along the years. Within these compounds there is a series of, recently discovered, potent antiprotozoal agents that they aimed to develop further, as much as possible, towards the clinics.
Burua Scientific is experienced in the use of in silico computational techniques to decipher the potential of chemical compounds as therapeutic agents. Combining traditional ligand and structure based Computer Aided Drug Design (CADD) methods with AI, Data science and Quantum mechanics, Burua’s team has experience helping to advance molecule and target discovery programmes of companies and researchers in public and non-profit organisations.
Through the agreement with Burua Scientific, PARADET Research Group will further study, with in silico techniques, the use of the discovered compounds as therapeutic agents against, initially, Trichomonas vaginalis and subsequently also against Trypanosoma cruzi. The agreement is aimed to evaluate the putative Mechanism of Action (MoA) of these compounds as well as to deeply understand the compounds and their chemical families (structure-activity relationship, PAINS identification, off-targets information, Nearest Neighbors (similar compounds) finding, etc., and given the case try to optimize them. Succinctly, to pave the way to the clinical phases.
Drug discovery is a multidisciplinary field. The use of different techniques is key to obtain satisfactory results. Among them, computational tools are becoming more and more common in drug discovery campaigns, as over the years they have proven to be very useful in reducing time and cost. “We have already collaborated with computational groups in the past and have employed in silico techniques for the development of computational models designed for the prediction of potential active compounds. Computational science is a rapidly growing field, and nowadays, the collaboration proposal with Burua is one more step within the techniques used in my research group, for the discovery of novel antiprotozoal agents. With their in silico studies, we could establish, or at least shed more light, on MoAs in novel synthetic molecules, which have shown a competitive activity compared to reference drugs. Likewise, in order to elucidate the active points responsible of the antiparasitic activity, the following synthesis of chemical analogues with better ADMET properties would be really useful; and that is why we believe that the collaboration with Burua will be crucial and very fruitful.” commented Professor Escario, Principal Investigator of the PARADET Research Group.
Despite the recent creation of Burua Scientific, the team has participated in several projects that have covered a wide range of therapeutic applications. “Collaboration with the UCM PARADET Research Group will allow us to expand our experience with antiprotozoal therapies. In addition, in silico methods, in the context of drug discovery, are not often applied to antiparasitic research. At least not as much as to other diseases such as cancer or neurodegenerative disorders, so it is a great opportunity to position Burua in this field“, said Dr. Melchor Sanchez-Martinez, founder of Burua Scientific.