Institution: University of Ottawa
Researcher: Dr. Andre Beauchemin
Funded $40,000 by GreenCentre Canada
Beta amino carbonyl structures are found in many pharmaceuticals. These structures are often associated with small synthetic proteins, or peptides, which are increasingly being considered as new pharmaceutical candidates. The challenge for peptide-based drugs has been that the body is well designed to break down proteins in the digestive system before they can make their way to the target.
Dr. Andre Beauchemin of the University of Ottawa has been awarded $40, 000 in Proof of Principle funding from GreenCentre to address this challenge. Dr. Beauchemin discovered a way to make synthetic Beta amino acids with an “extra” carbon that can “fool” the digestive system into not tearing the proteins apart before they can take effect. Consequently, this makes it possible for pharmaceuticals based on this technology to be delivered orally, therefore increasing their potential.
These Beta amino acids can be prepared at relatively low temperatures and at high yields, without expensive (and scarce) transition metal catalysts, and with low cost reagents, giving them several economic and environmental advantages.
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