Award to Dr. M. Parvez Alam supports ongoing work to identify new therapeutics for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Photo: Dr. M. Parvez Alam from the Drug Discovery lab in at UCLA's Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research displays his award received at the recent Flow Chemistry Congress 2015 held in San Diego, September 15-16 for best presentation: "High Yield SNAr Substitution Reaction of Heteroaryl Chlorides in a MicroFluidic Reactor."
Using a microflow reactor, Alam – a Postdoctoral Fellow - was able to generate drug intermediates in a continuous and efficient manner, reducing reaction time, effort, and reagents needed to obtain these molecules in high yield.
Alam’s work focused on the efficient generation of carbon-oxygen (C-O) bonds. These bonds are found ubiquitously in both natural and synthetic bioactive molecules, and are essential to the generation of new compounds that may become therapeutics for Alzheimer’s or other neurodegenerative diseases. Previous methods for C-O bond formation were encumbered with the need for harsh conditions or reagents and longer reaction times.
“Use of flow chemistry will greatly facilitate our generation of potential new therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease and other CNS disorders” said Dr. Varghese John, Associate Professor of Neurology and Principle Investigator of the Drug Discovery Lab in the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research at UCLA.
The need for new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease is urgent. Alzheimer’s is the most common age-related dementia and the number of cases in the United States is expected to increase from the current number of about five to six million to 15 million by 2050. The costs to family life and on the health care system are enormous. Alzheimer’s and other dementias are projected to cost the United States $226 billion in 2015 alone, with that number rising to as high as $1.1 trillion in 2050.
There are currently no truly effective treatment or prevention strategies for Alzheimer’s, and the available drugs only reduce symptoms temporarily.
Alam utilized a Syrris microflow reactor to overcome some of the obstacles to continuous chemical synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). This new method will not only allow continuous, high-yield of new compounds, it is also considered “Green Chemistry” and part of the emerging field of Flow Chemistry, the focus of the Congress.
“This Green Chemistry approach is very important to us,” John said. “it uses small volumes in a microflow reactor and enables us to make new compounds for testing more efficiently. We expect this approach to accelerate our drug discovery efforts.”
The poster, “High Yield SNAr Substitution Reaction of HeteroAryl Chlorides in a Microfluidic Reactor” received the sole award from ePosters, one of the sponsors of the Flow Chemistry Congress. The work that resulted in the presentation was funded by the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research, Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA.