Dr Aiva Plotniece, Dr Arkadijs Sobolevs and their colleagues at the Latvian Institute then set out to synthesise dozens of different DHP derivative compounds. Dr Plotniece comments: "The great advantage of these compounds is the biologically active 1,4-DHP fragment, which with proper substitution, can show certain biological and physico-chemical properties. During the project we have designed different 1,4-DHPs, which allowed us to establish structure-activity relationships."
The third project partner, the independent Latvian chemical producer Bapeks, contributed its experience of larger-scale synthesis and advised the Latvian Institute researchers on how best to scale up the synthesis methodology. The compounds were then distributed to a number of other research colleagues in Latvia, Finland and Lithuania for further study. At present, project partners feel that the main uses will be in laboratory experiments, and much further research is needed before they can be used for gene transfer in the human body.
Partners in the EUREKA project believe that although more research is needed, the project has been very successful. "It was the first big, important project for us" says Dr Sobolevs. "We have significantly widened the potential uses of self-assembling 1,4-dihydropyridine derivatives into nanomedicine, gene delivery and even into drug delivery systems." The project team found that EUREKA support helped greatly in preparing, managing and reporting the project. It was also through EUREKA that the other partners were introduced to Bapeks.
|Contact: Piotr Pogorzelski|