A team from the Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS) of the School of Medicine of the University of Minho has developed novel multitarget compounds for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias. These compounds represent a revolutionary multi-target approach that addresses multiple pathogenic mechanisms simultaneously, offering enhanced efficacy while minimizing toxicity and off-target effects.
The team has successfully designed and synthesized 11 novel small molecule therapeutic agents that target multiple well-established therapeutic targets for AD and other neurodegenerative disorders. The molecules have anticholinesterase and antioxidant effects, inhibit abnormal aggregation of toxic proteins, and reduce neuroinflammation. Moreover, these multitarget molecules can be obtained through an easy and low-cost synthesis method, and have good predicted pharmacokinetics (including BBB permeability).
Innovative Aspects and Main advantages
The unparalleled ability of our molecules to simultaneously address multiple processes relevant to AD sets them apart. Their potential to modulate various pathogenic mechanisms underlying AD pathogenesis is expected to lead to disease modification rather than mere symptomatic relief. Currently, no similar molecules are available on the market for neurodegenerative diseases. Existing drugs typically target three out of the five relevant biomolecular targets separately, focusing on symptom control rather than disease progression.
The new molecules pave the way for the development of multi-target drugs aimed at delaying or even preventing the progression of various neurodegenerative diseases, including AD and other dementias.
Stage of Development
The effects of the multitarget molecules were first demonstrated through in vitro assays, and then confirmed using cellular and animal models of AD and of another type of dementia, frontotemporal dementia. The in vivo assays also demonstrated that the compounds are safe to nematodes and mice.
Intellectual Property Rights
We are pursuing patent protection for these novel molecules and their indications to safeguard their uniqueness and commercial potential.
The team is looking for pharmaceutical companies willing to discuss research collaborations and licensing arrangements for commercial exploitation of the technology.