Neglected diseases affect, mainly, poor populations. Their occurrence in specific geographic regions, poor and rural environments, and the insignificant market for pharmaceutical industry ambitions further reduce the importance of these infections in health programs. LAPEN has, therefore, as main focuses Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, malaria and tuberculosis.
Malaria and tuberculosis are part of a group called the "Group of the Three Major Diseases", which, together with HIV/AIDS, receive a little more financial incentive when compared to those considered most neglected. However, these three diseases continue to kill many people around the world. It is clear the urgent need for designing and discovery of new drugs for the treatment of those illnesses. LAPEN is engaged in this mission, contributing, consequently, to the improvement of Brazilian public health. Among the tools of drug design applied in our research group, we have prodrug design (with different kind of drug carrier, for instance, dendrimers), bioisosterism and rational drug design, which uses molecular modeling.
LAPEN has a multidisciplinary areas of research, involving synthetic, biological and computational aspects in the development of a leader. We have prestigious national and international partnerships.