This research group aims to discover new bioactive molecules, mainly analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs, by screening synthetic and natural combinatorial chemical libraries. Therapeutic targets include thermoreceptors TRPV1, TRPM8, and TRPA1, in addition to their protein complexes, which are involved in cancer pain produced by either a tumor and/or chemotherapy. To conduct this activity, high throughput screening (HTS) assays have been developed and validated that permit screening chemical libraries of hundreds of millions of compounds in just a few weeks. Furthermore, in silico screening techniques are also employed, and these permit delimiting the chemical libraries that are subsequently validated within the laboratory.
These activities are conducted in collaboration with the DiverDrugs company that belongs to the Lipotec Group, with which a collaboration agreement was signed in 1999, and that provides its combinatorial libraries and participates in the optimization of candidates, thereby guaranteeing the transfer and dissemination of the generated results.
One result of this collaboration was the discovery of synaptic transmission modulators developed as cosmeceuticals for treating expression wrinkles (ArgirelineTM) that for some years have been the active ingredients of choice by multinationals such as Estée Lauder, Elizabeth Arden, and Anne Möller in the formulation of their anti wrinkle products. Currently, members of this family of compounds are in a pre-clinical development phase as analgesics against cancer pain. Collaboration with the Lipotec Group has also been strengthened by participation in the NanoFarma CENIT project, whose main objective is using the HTS platform to discover new active ingredients against pancreatic cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
Along the same lines, collaboration is ongoing with DiverDrugs and the Skin Research Center (SRC) in the development of dermocosmeceuticals of interest by screening their synthetic chemical libraries in various dermocosmetic targets through the use of HTS technology.