Drugs and molecules for living systems
Lille University – Inserm – Institut Pasteur de Lille
Director : Benoit Deprez
The laboratory’s mission is to design and synthesise drug prototypes with an innovative mode of action, aimed at achieving clear therapeutic progress in indications where the medical need is poorly satis- fied.
This interdisciplinary molecular invention work is inspired by the most recent discoveries made on infectious diseases, metabolic diseases and cancer. By discovering molecules, new therapeutic solutions can be offered and the involvement of the mecha- nisms highlighted by biologists in the pathophysio- logical processes can be validated.
The design of new drugs
The design and optimisation of new drugs requires interdisciplinary expertise covering chemistry, physics, biology and in silico modelling. Indeed, the active ingredient of modern drugs, whether they are synthetic or biological in origin, is always defined at the molecular, or even the atomic, level.
This particular molecular structure – perfected by the researchers of the unit – is the key to all the properties of the drug. It conditions its ability to cross the physical and chemical barriers between the different biophases (intestine, blood, tissues, brain, etc.) of the body, and to attain the set target. It is also key to its interaction with the intended target and the achievement of the desired effect. Beyond the therapeutic goal, molecules also serve as valuable tools that help biologists better understand how the cell and living organisms work and verify that the proposed targets for treating diseases are relevant.
Researchers are working on antibiotic resistance, type 2 diabetes, certain forms of cancer and the recognition of intracellular antigens by the immune system.
Group leader : Benoit Deprez