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Evaluation of radioprotective effects of compounds

Country of Origin: Spain
Reference Number: TOES20160121001
Publication Date: 21 January 2016

Summary

A Spanish hospital has optimized an assay for the assessment of the radioprotective effect of a compound or a mixture of compounds by the analysis of the reduction of radiation-induced chromosomal damage. This new optimized assay provides results in only a few weeks. The hospital is looking for companies and research centers interested in commercial agreement with technical assistance and/or technical/R&D collaboration. Other kind of collaboration will be considered as well.

Description

The interaction of ionizing radiation with living cells causes damage to genetic material. Radiation induced damage is required for certain applications of ionizing radiation such as radiotherapy but when ionizing radiation interacts with healthy cells, the radiation-induced effects are not then desired since they have health consequences in exposed humans. 
In order to avoid the undesired effects of ionizing radiation a research team from a Spanish hospital has optimized an assay to evaluate the radioprotective effects of single compounds or mixtures through the analysis of cytogenetic biomarkers.
The application of ionizing radiation in biomedicine has led to great medical advances either for the diagnosis and treatment of several diseases. When ionizing radiation interacts with the organic material it produces damage to biomolecules through a direct effect (direct interaction with biomolecules) and an indirect effect (interaction with water molecules) being considered the DNA molecule as the most important biological target. Despite this damage is required in some applications such as radiotherapy treatments to kill tumor cells, it is not desired in the healthy tissues surrounding the tumor nor in radio-diagnostic.
Therefore, it is of great interest affording a way to protect living organisms, mainly humans in this case, from the secondary effects. Protection can be achieved by radiomodulators compounds, this is, substances administered before (radioprotectors) or after (radiomitigators) an irradiation exposure to protect from the radiation damage. “Radioprotective agents” are then those substances administered before aiming at preventing the radiation-induced damage to normal tissues.
When a substance has the ability of being radioprotective, this will be able to scavenge radiation-induced free radicals due to its antioxidant capacity. Through this capacity, among others, the radioprotective substance will be able to reduce the frequency of dicentric chromosomes (gold-standard biomarker for radiation exposure) as well as other chromosomal aberrations caused by ionizing radiation. In addition to the antioxidant capacity, many compounds are able to increase the levels of endogenous antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione reductase, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and catalase, thus increasing cell capacity to scavenge radiation-induced free radicals throughout the cell cycle.
The research group has optimized an assay for the assessment of the radioprotective effect of a compound or a mixture of compounds by the analysis of the reduction of radiation-induced chromosomal damage. This assay would be the first step to initiate biomedical studies and to determine whether a molecule/compound or a mixture thereof is radioprotective.
The assay is based on the irradiation of human peripheral blood samples containing different concentrations of the substance/s of interest and the subsequent cytogenetic analysis. From this analysis, the reduction of radiation-induced chromosomal damage in lymphocytes due to the protection offered by the substance/s of study is determined.
Irradiation of samples is performed according to the protocol established by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the biomarker analyzed is the dicentric chromosomes. The research team counts with a dose-effect curve performed with the analysis of this biomarker. Selection of this biomarker from the set of those accepted by the IAEA is due to the fact that dicentric chromosomes are specifically induced by radiation and are the “gold-standard” biomarker for biological dosimetry purposes.
The research team is interested in providing the service to companies or research groups and organizations through technical agreements (Commercial agreement with technical assistance) and/or collaborative agreements (Technical and/or R&D cooperation agreement) in this field.

Advantages and Innovations

•	Economical procedure which provides results in only a few weeks.
• Assay according to the protocol established by the International Atomic Energy Agency
• Results obtained are the first step to determine the efficacy of radioprotective agents intended for oral or topical use.
• Concerning the in vivo study with animals, the model will assess the radioprotective efficacy of topical products from a cellular, dermatological and clinically point of view.

Stage Of Development

Available for demonstration

Requested partner

The hospital is looking for companies willing to sign an agreement for the commercial exploitation of this technology or companies/research centers interested in collaboration (R&D and/or Technical cooperation) for further development.

- Type of partner sought: companies and/or research centers.

- Specific area of activity of the partner: pharmacy, health, biotechnology, radioprotection.

- Task to be performed: Technical and commercial cooperation. Adaptation of the developed technology to the specific requirement. Joint research projects.

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