The Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Brazilian Council of State Funding Agencies (CONFAP) provided funding to assist in collaboration between The University of Nottingham and researchers in Sao Paulo. The expertise we could provide in molecular pharmacology and medicinal chemistry allowed us to work well with the wealth of experience in the study of inflammatory diseases and sepsis our counterparts in Brazil provided.
The benefits provided by this collaboration are substantial, as it allows for us to apply new knowledge gained in recent research in our University on the molecular pharmacology of
-adrenoceptors and adenosine receptors to the in vivo experimental models available in Sao Paulo. This allows for a truly collaborative series of drug discovery programmes, and encourages knowledge transfer and training between UK and Brazilian scientists.
The overwhelming systemic inflammatory response triggered by acute infection (sepsis) and its progression into septic shock can lead to progressive organ dysfunction. This condition has a 70-90% mortality rate, and is a major public health problem across the world. In Brazil there has been a dramatic increase in the number of sepsis-associated deaths, and a major challenge in the treatment of sepsis-induced cardiovascular collapse is the fact that it is not responsive to standard vasopressor and inotropic treatments.
Our collaboration builds on recent breakthroughs in the ability of drugs to bias responses from cell surface receptors to particular intracellular signalling pathways in order to develop inotropic and vasopressor treatments that are effective in sepsis.