Slash Boxes

SoylentNews is people

posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday March 24 2020, @08:27AM   Printer-friendly
from the how-to-make-a-heavy-methyl-band dept.

Newly discovered 'magic methyl' reaction could turbocharge the potency of some drugs:

For years, drug discovery chemists have struggled to streamline a process that can boost a drug's potency up to 2000-fold: "magic methylation." The reaction sweeps out single hydrogen atoms and replaces them with methyl groups—reshaping the drug molecule to more easily interact with its biological targets. But carrying out this sleight of hand is so difficult that few researchers even try. Now, a team of chemists reports it has created a new catalyst that performs this delicate exchange with ease on a wide variety of druglike molecules, an advance that could lead to novel treatments for everything from cancer to infectious diseases.

"This paper is just stunning," says Tim Cernak, an organic chemist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, who was not involved in the research. The new catalyst manages the reaction in one easy step—a huge improvement on previous multistep methods that were expensive and time-consuming. "This is the wish [of] every drug hunter," Cernak says. "It really is a dream reaction."

[...] This could help "across the board" in drug discovery, says David Rees, chief scientific officer of Astex Pharmaceuticals. Where adding a methyl group does increase a drug's potency, doctors may be able to give their patients less of a drug. That could improve safety and reduce side effects. Among the drugmakers he knows, Rees says, "Everyone will jump on this."

Posted in: Chemistry DOI: 10.1126/science.abb7567.

Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 25 2020, @10:26AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 25 2020, @10:26AM (#975391)

    Or maybe he meant to say that he replaced one of the hydrogen atoms with two methyl groups back to back.