News from DCEXS-UPF
Medicines derived from cannabis are highly effective as analgesics to treat diseases such as multiple sclerosis and prevent vomiting in chemotherapy patients. Their use, however, is limited by their side effects in patients, particularly cognitive alterations and memory loss. Now, UPF, together with the UAB, the UB, the João Lobo Antunes Institute of Molecular Medicine of the University of Lisbon, Portugal, have applied for a patent for a molecule, 'H' peptide, which is capable of blocking the main adverse effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most widely used active ingredient of cannabis, while preserving therapeutic capacity.
The researchers believe that the peptide could be used to develop a new drug that when administered with THC-based drugs, will prevent their side effects. According to Rafael Maldonado, head of the Neuropharmacology Laboratory at the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (DCEXS) at UPF, who led the research process into the molecule, the combination of compounds "would open up a huge field to seek new therapeutic applications for cannabinoids" beyond the current limits. The Proteomics and Protein Chemistry Research Group, led by David Andreu, has played a significant role in the chemical development of the peptide, with the participation of the PhD student Maria Gallo.