ERC Consolidator Grant project 2020

Congratulations to Pavel Mykhailiuk, Chief Scientific Officer at Enamine, for receiving ERC Consolidator Grant funding for the Project: BENOVELTY - Saturated bioisosteres of benzene and their application in drug design.

The research will be carried out at Enamine Ltd in Ukraine, a global provider of chemical and biological services to biotech companies, academic institutions and research organisations.

About the research:

One of the most popular structural elements in chemistry is the ring (a cycle of atoms and bonds in a molecule) of benzene. Every discipline – be it inorganic, polymer, physical, organic or medicinal chemistry – deals with derivatives of benzene, a hydrocarbon organic compound obtained by refining petroleum. Indeed, more than 500 existing medications, including aspirin and paracetamol, are molecules containing benzene. However, in recent years pharmaceutical companies struggle to deliver new medicines to the market as they often use old approaches and benzene-containing “building blocks”. The goal of new research is to provide patent-free equivalents to existing medicines, which will also provide them with enhanced properties.

With the help of his ERC Consolidator Grant, Pavel Mykhailiuk hopes to address this issue and advance medicine development using novel isosteres – molecules with similar shape and properties. Exchanging one biologically active isostere for another enables scientists to enhance the biological and physical properties of a compound without making significant changes in the chemical structure. Pavel Mykhailiuk’s team will develop innovative bioisosteres, which will be incorporated into several antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antihypertension medicines.