Academy of Finland
Funding decision
Applicant / Contact person Xhaard, Henri
Organisation University of Helsinki
Project title Novel protozoan inhibitors through structure- and fragment-based drug discovery approaches
Decision No. 310297
Decision date 28.04.2017
Funding period 01.09.2017 - 31.08.2021
Funding 448 849
WebFOCUS Report
Project description
Protozoan parasites are major causes of morbidity and mortality across the world, and new specific therapies are greatly needed. Several of them are classified as “neglected diseases” by WHO. They also cause health problems in developed countries: Toxoplasma causes congenital toxoplasmosis and infections in immunosuppressed individuals. Membrane-bound pyrophosphatases, which have no human homologues, are essential in such parasites. The group of A. Goldman recently showed that mPPases have a unique structure. They are thus ideal drug targets. The aim of this proposal is to develop substrate mimic inhibitors. In addition, we aim to discover another class of compounds that act on a different conformation of the mPPases, collapsing ionic gradients and thereby killing effectively the cells. State of art computational methods will be used in synergy with experimental components, X-ray crystallography, medicinal chemistry, and biophysical methods.