UCJC takes part in research to find a new molecule to treat Alzheimer’s

Doctor Francisco López Muñoz, Professor of Pharmacology and Director of the UCJC International Doctorate School, took part in a multinational research study, funded in part by Camilo José Cela University (UCJC) within the framework of the HISCHEMAO project (5th call for UCJC Research Grants) which has identified the MBA354 molecule as a non-toxic, neuroprotector and antioxidant.

This study is the result of research by a multidisciplinary European team from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Camilo José Cela University, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Universidad de Alcalá, Hospital Universitario de la Princesa de Madrid, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf (Germany), Goethe Universität Frankfurt (Germany), University of St. Andrews (UK), Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Besançon (France) and Fakultní Nemocnice Hradec Králové (Czech Republic). This study, published in the prestigious journal Angewandte Chemie, International Edition (impact factor 11,994), confirms the therapeutic potential of this molecule and opens new promising lines of research for pre-clinical studies to assess the potential impact for treating Alzheimer’s.

The global data from 2015 indicates 44 million people around the world suffered from Alzheimer’s, and that number is set to double by 2030.  Unfortunately, an efficient drug has yet to be developed to treat the disease, with only certain drugs available for limited treatment of symptoms. One of the therapeutic strategies with the greatest potential is the design of multi-strength molecules able to act simultaneously on different enzyme systems or receptors involved in the development of the disease. The molecule has a three-fold strength, since it is able to inhibit cholinesterases and A/B monoamine oxidase and antagonise H3R histamines. Furthermore, the MBA354 molecule, that presents an adequate in vitro pharmacological profile and potential for inhibiting or interacting at a nanomolar level, it permeates the blood–brain barrier and presents antioxidant and neuroprotector properties. It has also shown significant pro-cognitive effects in an in vivo model for Alzheimer’s disease, enabling future development for finding lead-components for therapy.

A patent request based on this research was presented on 23 August at the Spanish Patent Office (Madrid), entitled “New components with antioxidant capacity combined with inhibition of monoamine oxidases and  cholinesterases and interaction with histamine 3 receptors, the process for obtaining it and its pharmaceutical components“, with the intervention of  Dr José Luis Marco Contelles, Dr Francisco López Muñoz, Dr Holger Stark, Dr Stefanie Hagenow and Dr Rona R. Ramsay, and by request of Camilo José Cela University and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).