R-Pharm and the Federal Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences will develop a drug for the treatment of depression and a number of neurodegenerative diseases


R-Pharm Group of Companies, together with the Federal Research Center “Fundamentals of Biotechnology” of the Russian Academy of Sciences, will develop a drug for the treatment of depression and a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including those associated with aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

The innovative drug will be developed based on the structure of eburnamine, an alkaloid isolated from natural materials, namely, from the periwinkle plant, well studied by Russia’s chemists. Earlier studies have confirmed its ability to influence the synthesis of a number of neurotransmitters, as well as on neurogenesis, which makes it possible to use this compound for the treatment of diseases associated with neuronal death and memory impairment.

R-Pharm Group of Companies will act as an industrial partner of the project and will provide organizational support and financing. For three years, until 2024, within the framework of the New Medicine technology platform, co-financing will also be provided by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.

“Depression is a serious illness that impairs performance, school success, and social activity. The importance of this problem in our country is traditionally understated, it is under-diagnosed, and  meanwhile, according to WHO, about 4% of the population suffer from depression. Despite the broad arsenal of therapeutic approaches, there is a significant unmet demand for effective drug therapy of depressive disorders. We are glad to take part in the project on the research and development for a multimodal drug, and, hopefully, to help patients and society in the fight against this disease, which is challenging to treat,”  said Andrey Burkov, Director of the Strategic Marketing Department of R-Pharm.

“Together with R-Pharm, we plan to conduct a rational design of the group of compounds, investigate the structure and activity of new patented derivatives of eburnamine, develop a scalable complete method for synthesizing the leader compound from this group, as well as study the properties and effects on various animal models associated with a range of neurodegenerative diseases,”  Vadim Makarov, the project manager, head of the Laboratory of Biomedical Chemistry of the FRC “Fundamentals of Biotechnology” of RAS, stressed.