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Scientists closing in on new obesity drug
Date:6/12/2014

there is almost an infinite number of possible molecules that we can synthesize, and it is extremely time consuming to test molecules randomly for their possible ability to activate this particular protein", explains Bharat Shimpukade.

The job could therefore take years and years of painstaking experiments in laboratories but this can now be avoided thanks to the new development by the research-team.

"We have developed a computer model of FFA4 that can help us to select the correct molecules for synthesis by first testing if they bind in the computer model. This way we can test thousands of molecules in a very short time before going into the laboratory. This will speed up the process of finding the right compounds that can be developed to efficient drugs against obesity or diabetes", says Bharat Shimpukade.

The model has been confirmed and refined by detailed experimental studies.

In 2012, the same team discovered the first selective activator of FFA4, a compound that is now important for studying the functions of the protein.

"It works well at activating the protein. But we cannot administer it as a drug to a patient, because it is not stable enough in the body. We need a more water-soluble molecule with higher stability: It must not be broken down in the body before it has done the job. On the other hand, we don't want it to stay in the body forever."

Bharat Shimpukade has now set out to find the winner-molecule that will activate the protein in all the right ways and stay in the body for the time needed. And of course he is using the new model.

"I have been looking for a couple of months now, and I hope to be able to continue till I find the perfect molecule that can lead to a new cure", says Bharat Shimpukade.


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Contact: Birgitte Svennevig, press officer
birs@sdu.dk
University of Southern Denmark
Source:Eurekalert

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