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Seminar by Prof. Maria Laura Bolognesi

University of Bologna (Italy)

03 Apr 2014 10:00
03 Apr 2014 11:00
Lecture room 2009, Jülich GRS building (16.15)

Multitarget and theranostic small molecules: Innovative strategies to combat neurodegeneration

Neurodegenerative diseases are one of the most challenging and frustrating fields of drug discovery. A major reason for the repeated failures of drug candidates is that disease pathogenesis is multifactorial, involving a complex array of concomitant interrelated processes. Thus, it is unrealistic to take the simple view that drugs acting on a single molecular target can cure such complex illnesses. In addition, diagnosis occurs late in the disease process, when it is hard to figure out a successful therapeutic intervention. In this context, multi-target ligands and theranostics have received widespread attention for their potential to effectively treat and early diagnose neurodegenerative diseases. Multitarget ligands, designed by amalgamating in a single chemical entity fragments acting on different neurotoxic pathways, are able to contrast neurodegeneration through multiple mechanisms. Theranostics are emerging agents capable of staining amyloid plaques, and at the same time blocking their aggregation. In this lecture, I will discuss and substantiate with examples taken from my own research why these tools might address the drawbacks and pitfalls of current neurodegenerative diseases drug discovery.