St Petersburg Researchers Develop New Medicines From Insect Immune System

St Petersburg Researchers Develop New Medicines From Insect Immune System

The Biological Research Institute of the St.Petersburg State University is preparing, under the guidance of Sergei Chernysh, Doctor of Biology, novel drugs containing agents generated by the immune system of insects, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports.

Though unlike human, the insect immune system is as efficient. Insects promptly distinguish microbe cells with the help of receptor molecules and reciprocate with synthesizing protective peptides. Insects are a potentialy extremely useful source of medications for the future.

St.Petersburg researchers have already come up with one such drug, an analog of the peptides of the insect immune system. They extracted the active agent of the new preparation (allopherone) from calliphora fly larvae, which has for centuries helped doctors to save the wounded. The preparation has passed clinical tests and is now used as an antiviral agent mostly for herpes.

On the basis of the insect immune system researchers are developing so-called enthovirons. This group of biologically active substances has never been under study before.

Also, a new generation of drugs on the basis of allopherone-like peptides, allostatines, is being prepared. They are not only antiviral but also cut the rate of proliferation of cancer cells.

Researchers are not going to extract allostatines, just like allopherone, from insects: synthesizing them is easier and costs less. So far, one compound, allostatine 1, has been synthesized.

Preliminary agreement has been reached to produce allostatine at the Extra-pure Biological Preparations Research Institute, based in St.Petersburg.

News Source: Russian News and Information Agency, Novosti

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