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Faster route to new drugs

6 April 2010

With the help of microwaves, new drug molecules can be artificially created more quickly. The technology developed by Professor Mats Larhed at the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry is currently being used in basic research on drugs for HIV, tuberculosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

An important step in the process that leads to a new drug is when a drug molecule is artificially produced – synthesized. Here scientists need methods that can efficiently synthesize large quantities of molecules in order to find the relatively few that become finished drugs.

- Traditional synthesis models involve hard work, but our methods make it faster and easier to produce molecules that are interesting for further development. In this way it is possible to test new ideas without running the risk of wasting time, says Mats Larhed.

Larhed’s research team uses a special microwave reactor that provides even heating and enables scientists to monitor the temperature in the reaction precisely. The heating – and thereby the reaction – takes place considerably faster than with conventional heating methods.

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Pharmaceutical Research