Drug Discovery group facilities are main based in three laboratories: synthetic chemistry lab, biological/nanomedicine lab and analytical lab.

Medicinal Chemistry Laboratory

The group is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation, which allows to carry out standard and parallel synthesis and characterization of novel chemical entities. We are well equipped with Biotage® microwave reactor, automated Radleys reactor station, Biotage® automated purification system, Buchi rotavapors® with vacuum pumps, Buchi Glass Oven, centrifuge, vacuum oven, preparative HPLC/DAD (Shimadzu), among others, to improve both the synthesis and purification of libraries of compounds.

The group have access (third-party services) to the resources available at Center of Materials of University of Porto (CEMUP), namely  NMR (Brüker Advance, 400 & 600 MHz spectrometers), EPR (BRUKER ELEXYS III E580), LC / MS / DAD with Electrospray (ESI), MALDI-TOF (Microflex LRF) and electronic microscopy (SEM, JEOL JSM-6390) equipment.

Biological/Nanomedicine Laboratory

In this lab we have instrumentation specialized for performing assay development & compound´s screening. The facilities for biological cell-free studies enclose a multimode microplate reader (Biotek Synergy HT) and Epoch 2 Microplate Spectrophotometer (BioTek). New equipment to improve the skills of the group namely cell-based screening and evaluation of cytotoxicity is in acquisition.

Analytical Laboratory

The analytical lab is also located at FCUP and ISEP and is equipped with instruments that allow to evaluate drug-like properties, permeability (PAMPA assay) and purity of the best candidates. Accurate chemical analysis crucial for the successful development of R&D projects, like quantification, thermogravimetric/ voltammetric studies, are also executed by the group. Analytical and preparative HPLC/DAD (Shimadzu), Epoch 2 Microplate Spectrophotometer (BioTek), Eppendorf ThermoMixer for heating, cooling and mixing, orbital shaker with different speed, time and temperature ranges are some examples of the equipment that allow to accomplish the main goals of the drug discovery projects.

Drug Discovery Services

Medicinal Chemistry

  • Lead generation
  • Lead optimization (Ligand based drug design, Structure based drug design)
  • Custom synthesis
    • Synthesis of building blocks
    • Synthesis of small to medium sized libraries
    • Synthesis of degradation products or impurities
    • Synthesis of standards
    • Synthesis of human metabolites
    • Synthesis of pro-drugs to improve pharmacokinetic properties
    • Drug analogue synthesis
    • Bioconjugation
  • Expert analysis and consultation

Discovery in vitro Screening Services

  • Cellular and non-cellular antioxidant assays
  • Enzymatic assays
  • Cytotoxicity

Discovery Analytical Services

  • Purity and integrity (Chromatography and NMR/MS spectrometry)
  • UPLC / HPLC method development
  • Isolation/characterization of impurities and degradation products
  • 1H, 13C, F.31P NMR spectra
  • Proton-proton (COSY, NOESY) correlations
  • Proton-heteronuclear (13C, 15N) correlations (HSQC, HMBC)
  • Variable temperature experiments (VT)
  • Expert analysis and consultation

Discovery in vitro ADMET Services

  • Physical and chemical properties of molecules
  • Lipophilicity studies
  • Chromatographic hydrophobicity index (CHI)
  • Solubility studies
    • Solubility in organic solvents
    • Solubility in bio-relevant media (SGF, FaSSIF, FeSSIF)
    • Solubility in buffers
    • Solubility in aqueous media with solubility enhancers
  • Stability studies
    • Solution stability
    • Solid state stability
    • Storage stability
  • Non-cellular (Parallel Artificial Membrane Permeability Assay) permeability
  • Thermal properties
  • Redox profile