Neurodegenerative diseases (ND) result from the gradual and progressive degeneration of the structure and function of the central nervous system or the peripheral nervous system or both. There is no effective treatment for ND, and the drugs currently marketed are only palliative, symptom-oriented, albeit with several side effects. It is an urgent need for our society to discover and develop disease-modifiying agents for such pathologies including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis among others. Moreover, as one of the major common risk factor to suffer a ND is age, the number of patients is increasing as the life-expectancy is every day longer. Patients, caregivers and health systems need effective drugs to stop such huge actual epidemy. Since 1996, our laboratory works intensively in that direction joining high level expertise in drug design and medicinal chemistry. Our long-term goal is to translate our new molecules into the discovery of novel therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of ND. Efforts in this direction include several of our drug candidates in on-going clinical trials for the treatment of different pathologies. Our strategy involves as main targets to modulate neurodegeneration involved protein kinases, such as GSK-3, CK-1, LRRK2 or TTBK1 and cAMP-specific phosphodiesterases such as PDE7 and PDE8. Moreover, as ND are very complex disorders, multitarget designed approach in drug discovery is other of our leading strategies.
Finally, we are also involved in “steamistry” field that looks for modulating endogenous neurorepair mechanisms as new hippocampal neurogenesis with small molecules.