North­eastern Uni­ver­sity sci­en­tists cre­ated a rapid method to pro­duce an impor­tant fac­ulty of drugs, including drugs to treat Parkinson’s dis­ease and cancer. The effi­cient and ver­sa­tile process gives access to new med­i­c­inal agents by com­bining mol­e­cules that are impor­tant building blocks in cre­ating unique com­pounds. The paper describing the break­through method of syn­thesis of the new drugs, which are designed to be com­bined with the tra­di­tion­ally used Parkinson’s dis­ease treat­ment drug Lev­odopa, appeared in the latest issue of Tetra­he­dron Letters.

Lead author Graham B. Jones (left), Pro­fessor of Chem­istry and Chem­ical Biology and his co-​​authors Michail Sitkovsky (right), Pro­fessor of Phar­ma­ceu­tical Sci­ences, Amy E. Kallmerten and Ma Dong, all from the Bioor­ganic and Med­i­c­inal Chem­istry Lab­o­ra­to­ries and the New Eng­land Inflam­ma­tion and Tissue Pro­tec­tion Insti­tute at North­eastern, dis­cussed in the paper the process which elim­i­nates the need for external oxi­dants and pro­vides direct access to drug com­pounds of more than 16 analogs used to treat Parkinson’s dis­ease among others.

The team’s method entails cre­ating mul­tiple chem­ical reac­tions in a single oper­a­tion using microwave radiation.

This break­through dis­covery is a sig­nif­i­cant step on the way to more effi­cient treat­ments for a variety of serious dis­eases, including Parkinson’s, and our results will be instru­mental in stim­u­lating more drug devel­op­ment research in many dif­ferent areas of med­i­cine” said Jones, who is also the Asso­ciate Director for the Bar­nett Insti­tute of Chem­ical and Bio­log­ical Analysis at Northeastern.

This inter­dis­ci­pli­nary col­lab­o­ra­tion started with our team proposing a novel method to improve cancer immunotherapy and we ulti­mately cre­ated a method to respond to the novel med­ical need for better antag­o­nists of A2A adenosne recep­tors, which have become major tar­gets in drug dis­covery research aimed at treating cen­tral ner­vous system dis­or­ders,” said Sitkovsky.

We are excited about pro­viding the med­ical research com­mu­nity with unre­stricted access to our process and find­ings. And we are proud to be able to con­tribute to ongoing efforts to improve the lives of those who suffer from these debil­i­tating dis­eases,” added Jones.

The paper titled “Syn­thesis of 8-​​substituted xan­thines via 5,6-diaminouracils: an effi­cient route to A2A adeno­sine receptor antag­o­nists” dis­cusses the inno­v­a­tive method.

For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact Renata Nyul at 617–373-7424 or at r.​nyul@​neu.​edu.

About North­eastern

Founded in 1898, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity is a pri­vate research uni­ver­sity located in the heart of Boston. North­eastern is a leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, urban engage­ment, and the inte­gra­tion of class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence. The university’s dis­tinc­tive coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, where stu­dents alter­nate semes­ters of full-​​time study with semes­ters of paid work in fields rel­e­vant to their pro­fes­sional inter­ests and major, is one of the largest and most inno­v­a­tive in the world. The Uni­ver­sity offers a com­pre­hen­sive range of under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams leading to degrees through the doc­torate in six under­grad­uate col­leges, eight grad­uate schools, and two part-​​time divi­sions. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www​.north​eastern​.edu.