27 Apr '16
Siberian scientists are developing special drug delivery agents as an answer to drugs’ currently poor bioaccessibility, or assimilability by the human body, portal Science in Siberia .
More than half of the drugs available across the global pharmaceutical market are poorly soluble or completely insoluble, a factor that dramatically reduces their bioaccessibility. Hence the need for considerably increased doses, which leads to side effects and takes its toll on a patient’s budget.
Researchers at the Novosibirsk-based Voevodsky Institute of Chemical Kinetics and Combustion are offering a solution to the problem which calls for the use of special delivery agents. These are chemical compounds that can form a sort of casing around drug molecules, thus boosting their dissolvability and ability to penetrate cell membranes in the body. The scientists suggest that glycyrrhizic acid, the chief sweet-tasting constituent of liquorice root, be used to come up with such compounds.
According to Dr. Nikolay Polyakov at the Institute’s magnetic phenomena lab, the approach will make it possible to increase drugs’ bioaccessibility “by a factor of 10, if not 100.”
During animal tests, using glycyrrhizic acid with blood pressure and arrhythmia drugs reportedly led to decreasing doses to negligible amounts.
What the Novosibirsk think-tank has developed may also be used to enhance the efficacy of natural antioxidants such as carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin). Drugs that contain the carotenoids are used to treat eye problems and improve our ability to see well.
In addition to medicines for humans the research team in Siberia is working on boosting bioaccessibility for vet solutions and agents used in plant cultivation.