Reports say scientists are working on the formulation of a new drug that may slow down diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Huntington's.
Professor Hagit Eldar-Finkelman of Tel Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine and colleagues teamed up with chemists, biotechnologists and 3-D modelists to "build" the new drug, L803-MTS.
The drug locks onto the GSK3 protein, which plays a causative role in insulin resistance and Type II diabetes, rendering it harmless and unable to wreak havoc inside the body.
Prof. Eldar-Finkelman said: "Ours is the first lab that showed the importance of GSK3 as a target in Type II diabetes, and was among the first to introduce a specific inhibitor against the GSK3.
"Our approach became so popular that today many pharmaceutical companies, big and small, are competing to work on a GSK3 inhibitor."
Prof. Eldar-Finkelman believes the new compound will be a lead one for treating central nervous system (CNS) disorders, "because it was based on rational drug design. We started from scratch and thought through the design of a specific compound that would be safe and effective. Our aim is to slow the progression of CNS diseases, but the new drug might also be used as a preventative therapy."
Recent research findings on the L803-MTS drug have been published in the Journal of Molecular Biology (2008) and Current Pharmaceutical Design (2009).