Scientists proposed a way of producing water-soluble fullerene compounds for medicine

March 17, 2020

Scientists from the Skoltech Center for Energy Science and Technology (CEST) and the Institute for Problems of Chemical Physics of Russian Academy of Sciences in collaboration with researchers from the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) developed a single-step method to obtain water-soluble fullerene compounds with remarkable biological properties, such as the ability to effectively suppress the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Uncommon molecular forms of carbon, C60 and C70 fullerenes are shaped as a soccer ball and a rugby ball, respectively, depending on the number of atoms in the molecule. Fullerene-based compounds have long been believed to provide a good ground for new drugs thanks to their strong antiviral, antibacterial, antitumor and antioxidant effects.

The downside is that fullerenes are totally insoluble in water, which prevents their use in medicine. The existing classical methods of synthesis of water-soluble compounds directly from fullerenes provide low product yields through several complex stages of synthesis. Therefore, these methods are inefficient and can hardly work for industrial-scale production of water-soluble fullerene compounds for pharmaceutical applications.

The team led by CEST professor, Pavel Troshin, has extensive experience in the synthesis of water-soluble fullerene derivatives. In their latest study, they proposed an effective single-step method to produce stable water-soluble fullerene derivatives displaying high anti-HIV activity. The new method enables a high yield of nearly 100% and does not require lengthy and labor-consuming chromatographic purification, which opens up new horizons for synthesizing fullerene derivatives on any scale to suit the needs of the pharmaceutical industry.

"Although high antiviral activity of fullerene derivatives was discovered over 20 years ago, these unique compounds are too difficult to obtain and for this reason have been unavailable for clinical trials. We hope that our simple single-step method of synthesizing water-soluble fullerene compounds will help to solve this issue and take us one step closer to creating effective antiviral drugs on their basis," says the first author of the paper and Skoltech PhD student, Olga Kraevaya.

The team's latest research opens up new opportunities for the directional design of water-soluble fullerene derivatives with a specified set of properties, which, in the longer term, will help bring to the market the new-generation drugs based on these compounds.
-end-


Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech)

Related Drugs Articles from Brightsurf:

The danger of Z-drugs for dementia patients
Strong sleeping pills known as 'Z-drugs' are linked with an increased risk of falls, fractures and stroke among people with dementia, according to new research.

Wallflowers could lead to new drugs
Plant-derived chemicals called cardenolides - like digitoxin - have long been used to treat heart disease, and have shown potential as cancer therapies.

Bristol pioneers use of VR for designing new drugs
Researchers at the University of Bristol are pioneering the use of virtual reality (VR) as a tool to design the next generation of drug treatments.

Towards better anti-cancer drugs
The Bayreuth biochemist Dr. Claus-D. Kuhn and his research team have deciphered how the important human oncogene CDK8 is activated in cells of healthy individuals.

Separating drugs with MagLev
The composition of suspicious powders that may contain illicit drugs can be analyzed using a quick and simple method called magneto-Archimedes levitation (MagLev), according to a new study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

People are more likely to try drugs for the first time during the summer
American teenagers and adults are more likely to try illegal or recreational drugs for the first time in the summer, a new study shows.

Drugs used to enhance sexual experiences, especially in UK
Combining drugs with sex is common regardless of gender or sexual orientation, reveals new research by UCL and the Global Drug Survey into global trends of substance-linked sex.

Promising new drugs for old pathogen Mtb
UConn researchers are targeting a metabolic pathway, the dihydrofolate reductase pathway, crucial for amino acid synthesis to treat TB infections.

Can psychedelic drugs heal?
Many people think of psychedelics as relics from the hippie generation or something taken by ravers and music festival-goers, but they may one day be used to treat disorders ranging from social anxiety to depression, according to research presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

New uses for existing antiviral drugs
Broad-spectrum antiviral drugs work against a range of viral diseases, but developing them can be costly and time consuming.

Read More: Drugs News and Drugs Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.