The process of developing new drugs by screening large libraries of synthetised compounds on biological targets has led to a considerable increase in failure rate in candidate development.
AN ESTABLISHED LINK BETWEEN NATURAL SUBSTANCES AND AGING PROCESSES
For about a dozen years now, natural active substances have been the subject of a fast growing amount of academic research, establishing their role in the development of age-related chronic pathologies, in particular degeneration of the eye, of the skeletal muscle, or of vital organs such as the brain, the heart, the kidneys or the liver.
Secondary metabolites in plants are molecules whose diversity significantly exceeds that generated by synthesis from small molecule chemical libraries. They are derived from the defence processes plants deploy against their environment and the co-evolution with different predator species, including man. They are naturally “bioactive”.
Acting directly on the mechanism of the disease
For example, it has been well established that a deficiency in certain phytonutrients – such as lutein, a carotenoid present in various fruits and vegetables – increases the risk of developing Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD, AREDS report, 2007). Tens of thousands of other natural active substances have yet to be characterised, as they offer a unique source of “bioactive” molecules with potential that is still generally under-utilised.
By understanding the relationship between natural substances and degenerative processes, BIOPHYTIS is able to identify families of substances capable of acting directly on the mechanism of the illness and capable of slowing its development effectively and for a long time.