According to Vladimir Vinogradov, Head of the International Laboratory "Solution Chemistry of Advanced Materials and Technologies," this "award" is unique because of two reasons. Firstly, the Federal Target Program usually gives grant companies and universities focusing on pharmacology as opposed to universities with IT and physics majors. Furthermore, research projects aimed at medical products with complex architecture are not supported by the government.
"Usually support is provided for research projects based on one organic molecule. We deal with a complex system including magnetic nanoparticles, thrombolytic enzymes and bounding agents. Such projects were not supported — they are too complicated to standardize and certify. However, ITMO University has high-qualified physicists who can analyze the interaction of the drug and magnetic field as well as engineers who are able to develop equipment for localized focusing of the magnetic field. Thanks to these experts the committee considered our application," noted Vladimir Vinogradov.
The duration of the project is three years. In the first phase of the research the experts are going to present documents with characteristics of medical product’s synthesis, which is needed for independent researchers who will develop it. In 2017 a non-clinical study, which includes evaluation of the efficiency of the product, its' toxicity level and required dosage rate. Then the researchers plan to analyze the activity of the product: metabolism in various internals, affection on fertility, and potential carcinogenic property. The experts plan to conduct these studies together with partners in the lab. In 2018 the researchers will prepare for launching clinical studies and commercialization as well as coordinate these studies with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
"It is very important that this was the first time when the government is ready to invest in the innovative project of nanostructured medical product. It is also a very significant step for ITMO University — having signed the government contract it has proved its' leadership not only in IT and photonics, but also in chemistry and medical fields," mentioned Mr. Vinogradov.
As one previously announced, the product developed by researchers of the lab, is composed of a porous magnetite framework, which includes thrombolytic enzymes. According to the results, the chemical solution consisted of nanoparticles condensed on a blood clot by means of a magnetic field will be able to dissolve clots up to 4000 times more efficiently than ordinary enzyme-based drugs. The product is safe, as its components can be injected intravenously.