Siberian scientists increase efficiency and reduce toxicity of outdated drugs

| By | Drug Development, R&D

Scientists from the Institute of Solid State Chemistry and Mechanochemistry (Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences) in close cooperation with the other institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences develop medicines to fight foreign organisms that may invade human body, for example, such as opisthorchis.

The common medications used to treat opisthorchiasis block the opisthorchis muscle system and the dying parasites are dislodged from their site of action in the host organism and washed out of the body. These drugs with a wide range of action (praziquantel and albendazole) have side effects and are toxic for humans, especially affecting the liver.

“We managed to reduce the initial dose of the most frequently used medication against opisthorchiasis,praziquantel, by 4-10 times. To do this, we used the so-called drug delivery system: drug molecules are included in supermolecular structures that are formed by water-soluble polymers and amphiphilic (capable of absorbing or avoiding contact with water) substances using weak (non-covalent) interactions. This approach makes it possible to increase the solubility of sparingly soluble drugs, as well as to increase their effectiveness and bioavailability after oral administration, at the same time reducing the effective dose and toxic effects, “says Alexander Valerievich Dushkin, senior research fellow at the ISSCM SB RAS.

“Delivery” systems are created based onthe substances of plant origin, in particular, larch wood (polysaccharide-arabinogalactan is used) or licorice root (glycyrrhizic acid): they transport medication to the areas of the body infected with parasites, and protect the liver.