A Novel Treatment for Hypertension

Our drug discovery team is supporting the discovery of an exciting new system, which plays a fundamental role in the regulation of blood pressure and thus stands to lead to novel treatments for hypertension.

We have discovered a powerful new modulatory system with enormous clinical potential for regulating high blood pressure (hypertension). This system is modulated by an unusual metabotropic glutamate receptor and acts upon arterial baroreceptors. Previously these baroreceptors were thought to play a role only in making rapid blood pressure adjustments in response to postural changes: we have recently shown that activation of this system can in fact effect a long-term reduction in blood pressure and thus is an exciting target for therapeutic intervention. We have indentified a hit compound acts as an agonist at this glutamate receptor, which consequently activates the system and thus reduces blood pressure. We will use this as a starting point for a structure-activity relationship to allow us to elucidate the pharmacophore, and to generate selective and novel compounds with commercial value as novel therapeutics.

Funding: BioSkape  studentship (Eli Lilly)

Project Team: Dr Guy Bewick, Professor Matteo Zanda, Dr Iain Greig