Alfarma s.r.o., located in the outskirts of Prague, has been active in neuroscience and pharmaceutical research as well as development since its foundation in 2002. In 2003, the company set up two major R&D divisions.
- Design and synthesis – The activity of the first division concentrates on designing new chemical structures of compounds with a desired pharmacological profile.
- Analytics – The second division is devoted to the development of advanced analytical methods to detect and identify structures of new compounds. This division also specializes in developing methods for chiral separations of enantiomers.
Alfarma s.r.o. has been active in the design of new molecular structures and their subsequent synthesis. These compounds are mainly, but not exclusively, derived from ergot alkaloids. This research activity, where Alfarma posses a considerable know how, includes the development of novel synthetic processes and small batch production (from several milligrams to hundreds of grams) at a laboratory scale that can be used as analytical standards for chromatography (HPLC, GPC, GC) and -mass spectrometry electrophoresis, fluorescence and spectroscopy. The structure as well as the purity of all newly synthesised compounds is always validated and guaranteed. Alfarma can also provide for analytical purposes a wide range of reference compounds and standards. All analytical standards are provided with certificates of structural identity, mass and purity.
New compounds are designed with emphasis on achieving the desired pharmacological profile not just at one but on all the main classes of aminergic receptors such as dopaminergic, serotonergic and adrenergic receptor types as well as their numerous subtypes, in particular D1, D2, 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT2A, 5-HT2B, Alpha-1A, Alpha-1B and Alpha-1C. Following molecular design and synthesis, the pharmacological profile of each new compound is determined by in vitro testing of its pharmacological activity i.e. whether it is fully or partially agonistic or whether its mode of action is antagonistic at the receptor site.
The current research programme aims at discovery of new medicinal compounds with a therapeutic potential for neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, restless legs syndrome and migraine. More recently this research has been expanded to a search for therapeutic agents to alleviate the circulatory deficiencies described as Raynaud’s disease.
Apart from its own novel synthesis programme, Alfarma also performs custom synthesis of new compounds, mostly ergolenes. Although most targets of synthesis are derived from the ergot alkaloid structure, Alfarma can provide custom synthesis of other biologically active compounds, including precursors and metabolites that are also of potential interest in medicine. Alfarma can also perform feasibility studies especially for complex multi-step synthesis.