Peptidomimetics with photocontrolled biological activity


Pelico EU_Com
Acronym PELICO
Funding scheme MSCA-RISE – Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff exchange
Grant agreement No 690973
Implementation period 01.01.2016. – 31.12.2019.
Project coordinator Enamine Limited Liability Company, Ukraine
Project partners Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, Latvia
The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge, UK
Project web page
Leader of Latvian team Prof. Aigars Jirgensons
Total Costs 688 500 EUR
EU contribution 688 500 EUR
Costs for  Latvian partner 103 500 EUR


The expertise, resources and specific knowledge of all participating parties will be combined to achieve a breakthrough in design, synthesis and application of peptide analogues (peptidomimetics) possessing photo-controlled biological activities, with special emphasis on anti-microbial and anti-cancer activities.

The main idea behind the Project consists in chemical incorporation of artificial photo-controllable building blocks into known biologically active peptides by replacing their natural building blocks – the amino acid residues. Such a modification would provide photocontrolled peptidomimetics which can reversibly change their structure between two different photo-forms upon irradiation with light of different wavelength. The participating parties possess general know-how for design of the peptidomimetics which can exist in two photo-forms, biologically active and inactive ones, reversibly interconvertible by light of different wavelength. This opens a possibility to convert inactive peptidomimetics to active compounds by irradiation with physiologically benign light directly in tissues with very high spatiotemporal precision and can be a fundamental basis of new therapeutic strategies.

The research staff exchange and other activities planned under the Project will be dedicated to accomplish four complementary work packages:

  1. carrying out pharmacokinetic and toxicity studies of the photocontrolled peptidomimetics synthesized by the parties previously
  2. evaluation of novel photocontrolled building block chemotypes for their compatibility with peptides
  3. creation of new photocontrolled peptidomimetics, especially based on the novel building blocks and the know-how developed by the parties (e.g. using “stapled peptides” technology)
  4. multidisciplinary training of the researchers whose future work will be aimed at further development of the most advanced photocontrolled peptidomimetics as drugs suitable for photodynamic therapy.