In 2004, a new substance called SkQ1 was synthesized in the group of professor Vladimir P. Skulachev in the Moscow State University. ” The name SkQ1 was given to the substance as the first representative of a particularly potent class of molecules named “SkQ” – the term introduced by the team to describe molecules containing ion Sk an a quinone.
A part of SkQ1 coined “Skulachev ion” or Sk functions as a molecular “locomotive” or “towing truck” carrying the other part of the molecule – an extremely active antioxidant plastoquinone – into mitochondria. Both theoretical calculations and experimental results showed that SkQ1 is delivered into mitochondria in an extremely targeted and efficient manner. The physics of mitochondrial membrane and the unusual properties of “Skulachev ions” direct SkQ1 into the inner leaflet of the inner mitochondrial membrane with high precision.
Presence of SkQ1 in mitochondrial membrane enables mitochondria to protect itself from reactive oxygen species (ROS) by breaking chain reaction of lipid destruction. This ability of our molecule to protect cells against oxidative stress plays a very important role in treating patients suffering from various age-related disorders such as cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative disorders and various ophthalmic conditions.
But our technology does not end there. Developing methods for effective delivery of mitochondrially addressed antioxidants into organism is another challenging task. Mitotech successfully solved this complex problem for a variety of therapeutic areas and designed several SkQ1-based pharmaceutical products going through various stages of clinical development.