Pioneering group in Spain in the field of peptidomimetics, a concept that encompasses small non-peptidic molecules capable of mimicking or blocking the physiological functions of peptides and proteins. This type of compounds aims to solve the pharmacokinetic limitations of peptides/proteins for their therapeutic application. Research in this field requires the coordinated use of molecular modeling techniques, various synthetic methodologies, both in solution and solid phase (peptides and small molecules), and the corresponding biological evaluation. The group has experience in the preparation of enzyme inhibitors, mimetics of analgesic and antitumor peptides, neuropeptides, and modulators of protein-protein and ion channel interactions. In the search for new analgesic, antitumor, cardiovascular and neuroprotective agents, in recent years the activity of the group is been focused on two medicinal chemistry sub-lines, dedicated to get and optimize new chemical entities for specific therapeutic applications, and a transversal sub-line, framed in biological chemistry, for the development of new tools of general utility in the field.
1-Inhibition/stabilization of protein-protein interactions. Mainly involved in the development of neurodegenerative (DREAM/ATF6) and cardiovascular (MR-coactivators) processes.
2- Modulation of ion channels and associated proteins. We are working on TRP and nACh channels, involved in inflammatory and neuropathic pain, as well as on the DREAM/Kv4.3 interaction for neurodegenerative disorders, and on the search for non-steroidal antagonists of MR for cardiovascular diseases.
3- General methodologies for peptidomimetics. Including molecular modeling, virtual screening, fluorescent probes for biosensors and secondary structure mimetics.
The collaboration with companies in the pharmaceutical sector (Antibiotics, SA, Dr. Andreu SA, Deretil SA, Pharma Mar SA, Janssen Cilag S.A., Givaudan AG.) and the multidisciplinary training of young researchers are two constants in the group. At present, people trained in the peptidomimetic’s group occupy permanent and highly qualified positions in national and international academic centers and in diverse pharmaceutical companies.