Ural Federal University: Antiviral and Anticancer Medicine Laboratory to Be Opened at University

Scientists at Ural Federal University will establish a new research laboratory. The Government of the Russian Federation has allocated a mega-grant of 90 million rubles for its creation. The university’s chemists will use the latest green methods and biotransformation technologies to create biologically active supplements, food products, medications for the diagnosis and treatment of socially significant diseases (cancer), as well as the creation of antiviral compounds. The laboratory will be headed by Professor Brindaban Chandra Ranu, a well-known Indian scientist who is a leading expert in the application of green methods to the development of pharmaceutical products.

“Green methods are environmentally friendly compared to traditional production methods, they minimize the amount of waste in the production of pharmaceuticals. On the other hand, they also make it possible to recycle already existing organic industrial/agricultural waste, including recyclables, by deep recycling to extract the active ingredients. We will use these active ingredients to create potential antitumor and antiviral medicines, reagents for the diagnosis and therapy of socially significant diseases, and new materials for the food industry,” says Professor Brindaban Chandra Ranu.

First of all, scientists plan to develop promising medicines and reagents, including those containing rare-earth and noble metals, for the diagnosis and therapy of cancer. These are various complexes containing cations of gold, lanthanides, and other rare-earth elements, which are already widely used as tumor biosensing agents.

“Such medications may be promising for photon-capture therapy, a new method of treating cancer. This is a promising technology for cancer treatment. During electromagnetic irradiation, certain metal cations in the composition of the medications go into an excited state, and the cancerous tumor dies due to a strong local energy release caused by the photo effect,” explains Grigory Zyryanov, Professor at the Department of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry at UrFU and a member of the laboratory.

Moreover, the development of medical candidates capable of fighting modern viral diseases, such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus, i.e., coronavirus will be in focus. Another project is the processing of food, agricultural waste to obtain biologically active additives for cattle feed, new products for the food industry, such as artificial meat, isolation of biologically active components from products of plant and animal origin.

“We will conduct all of this research at UrFU; we have all the capabilities, resources, infrastructure, equipment, and a team with a wealth of experience. There are already a number of companies that have expressed interest in the laboratory’s results,” adds Grigory Zyryanov.

The Russian Government will provide financial support to the laboratory for three years, and then the laboratory must become self-sustaining. This is possible through grant support from various funds, the creation of intellectual property (patents), and the transfer of developed technologies to industrial partners.

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