Redesigning the designer drug ecstasy: Non-psychoactive MDMA analogues exhibiting Burkitt's lymphoma cytotoxicity

Michael N. Gandy, Matthew McIldowie, Katie Lewis, Agata M. Wasik, Danielle Salomonczyk, Keith Wagg, Zak A. Millar, David Tindiglia, Philippe Huot, Tom Johnston, Sherri Thiele, Blake Nguyen, Nicholas M. Barnes, Jonathan M. Brotchie, Mathew T. Martin-Iverson, Joanne Nash, John Gordon, Matthew J. Piggott

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) is a particularly aggressive cancer that primarily affects African children. Unfortunately, effective and affordable treatment is out of reach of most of the afflicted. The illicit psychoactive drug methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') is cytotoxic to BL cell lines, but its low potency, psychoactivity and neurotoxicity preclude consideration as a therapeutic drug candidate. This paper describes the discovery of novel α-aryl analogues of MDMA that lack psychoactivity and reduce BL cell line viability with significantly more potency than the lead compound. Preliminary in vitro studies also indicate that the compounds are non-toxic to a relevant neuronal cell line.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)287-293
    Number of pages7
    JournalMedChemComm
    Volume1
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

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