The University’s School of Life and Health Sciences carries out dedicated research in this field through its newly established Bioactive Molecules Research Center.
Development of Peptide Drugs
BioMoRec houses a dedicated unit in peptide synthesis and analysis. At present, there are around 80 peptide drugs on the global market, and research into new peptide therapeutics continues at a steady pace, with more than 150 peptides in clinical development and another 400–600 peptides undergoing preclinical studies.
Venoms from Endemic Species
Over the years, animal venoms have been recognised as a rich source of drugs. There are currently more than 10 authorized medicinal products with venom origin in the market. The University of Nicosia supports the discovery
of potent molecules from endemic species in Cyprus (i.e., scorpions, snakes, and other organisms). To this end, the Department recently entered into an agreement with MedVenome Ltd., a start-up company established in Cyprus focused on the production and supply of venom, venom peptides, and plant toxins.
Several research projects currently underway are focused on the use of materials derived from biomolecules of plants and animal origin for biomedical applications. More recently, novel biomaterials from biomolecules have been designed and fabricated precisely for applications in biomedicine, bioelectronics, etc. Tissue Engineering and Νanonscience Development, characterization, and evaluation of nanocarriers for targeted gene and drug delivery. The process also involves the development and implementation of predictive algorithms based on AI/ML technologies for predicting the performance of developed nanosystems based on formulation parameters, to reduce experimental time and cost. Polymeric and lipidic nanocarriers are being developed for the encapsulation of plant extracts to improve their stability and effectiveness. An agreement was signed recently along these lines with RiMed Foundation in Italy, which aims in technology transfer and research collaboration in the area of tissue engineering and drug delivery system design.