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Scientists discover novel anticancer substances searching for COVID-19 medicine

The substances discovered can potentially be used against neuroblastoma

MOSCOW, September 22. /TASS/. Members of the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy of the North Caucasus Federal University (NCFU) together with their US colleagues while searching for an active compound to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection have discovered substances which can potentially be used against neuroblastoma. The results of their research were published in the Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry journal.

"The researchers described the synthesis of a substance which will help humankind to fight neuroblastoma, one of the most dangerous types of cancer. Initially the chemists were trying to obtain the compounds to fight COVID-19, however, the anticancer activity of these substances turned out to be much higher," the NCFU press service told TASS on Tuesday.

The research was conducted under the leadership of the NCFU professors in organic and analytical chemistry Nikolai Aksenov and Alexander Aksenov jointly with the Texas State University. The method used in this research is called the Aksenov reaction and was discovered in 2010.

"(The reaction) is based on introducing an amine group to an aromatic substance and is very promising," professor Alexander Aksenov was quoted as saying. This development, as the scientists note, has a great significance for the obtainment of such compounds from accessible raw materials. This will allow decreasing the cost of therapy for cancer patients.

The research was conducted within the framework of two grants of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the US National Institutes of Health.