The Center for New Drugs for Hypertension (CENDHY) awarded by Dr. Javier Morales Montecinos of the Faculty of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, is part of a Ring project that brings together researchers from the University of Chile , Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Universidad Andrés Bello, to develop new drugs and new drug delivery systems for the treatment of high blood pressure.
As a resolution of the 2019 call for the Rings in Science and Technology Research Contest of the National Agency for Research and Development (ANID), the project led by Javier O. Morales, academic of the Faculty of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences strong>, was one of the 12 selected to receive funding to “promote the scientific and technological development of the country, through research projects supported by collaborative, broad and multidisciplinary work.”
Within the framework of the project, the Center for New Drugs for Hypertension (CENDHY) is created. The project, directed by Professor Morales, focuses on the search and development of new molecules to be used as drugs in the treatment of hypertension, a chronic disease with a high incidence in our country.
Center for New Drugs for Hypertension (CENDHY)
CENDHY’s scientific group is an interdisciplinary team made up of specialists with extensive experience in pharmacology and hypertension. Dr. Eduardo Soto, director of Innovation and Technology Transfer of the same faculty, is deputy director of CENDHY, while Dr. Felipe Oyarzún , also an academic of the faculty, Participate as an Associate Researcher. The researchers of the Faculty of Medicine of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Dr. and Dr. Jorge E. Jalil, the latter in her role as current vice. president of the Chilean Society of Hypertension; and the researcher from the Andrés Bello University, Dra. Eyleen Araya, complement the multi-institutional collaboration team.
CENDHY’s objectives also include promoting international cooperation, linking the research team with collaborators who will contribute from their expertise in the development of delivery systems, analytical methodologies, synthesis and analysis of peptides and drugs biologics, and angiotensin as a key molecule in hypertension.
The development of new drugs is a long process that involves studying the chemical composition, the effective concentration in which it exerts its therapeutic effect, the route that the molecule follows in the human body, the speed at which It acts and the side effects that it could present, among many other aspects. The nature of a new medicine is as important as the delivery system.
“The oral technology of drug delivery by inkjet printing of proteins and peptides for the manufacture of polymeric films that we have developed will allow us to develop fast-acting systems that simulate the speed of an injection, but without the need for needles for the molecule quickly enters the body, “said Dr. Morales.
Through the Municipality of Independencia and in conjunction with ACCDiS, CENDHY works in the co-construction process of a project aimed at organizations of older people in the commune. “The idea is to design a booklet that we can take to these groups so that they can learn about pathology, about healthy life leading to good aging, and know what we are working on in the research project, “explains the researcher, who added that” we are also interested in collecting their impressions, their experiences with cardiovascular diseases and medication treatment, and above all being able to contribute from our path to improve their health ”.
As a projection, the researchers hope that, after the clinical validation, the developed products can be made available to society through a technology transfer process , which involves patenting a pharmacological product for hypertension and with it the possibility of launching it to the market to be used as treatment under medical indication by patients in Chile and the world.
Arterial hypertension: a chronic pathology of high prevalence
The so-called “underlying diseases” or chronic diseases have acquired particular attention due to the COVID-19 pandemic, from where high blood pressure is the main comorbidity in patients hospitalized for this disease, as indicated by the Ministry of Health.
It is estimated that 27.6 percent of the Chilean population has hypertension, that strongly affects people over 65 years of age. About 60 percent of hypertensive patients follow pharmacological treatment with anti-hypertensive drugs (ENS 2016-2017, MINSAL). Hypertension is a pathology that can be controlled and with it have a good quality of life, therefore improving current pharmacological treatments is essential.
Globally, hypertension has a prevalence of around 26 percent and is projected to increase to 29 percent by 2050; The same occurs in our country, mainly due to the aging of the population.
Taken from publication in News Universidad de Chile , Friday July 10, 2020