The basis of the contemporary Institute was founded in 1947 when, due to increasing demands for evaluation of the quality of new products in former Czechoslovakia, the Laboratory of Biological Control of Drugs within the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Works Inc..was established in Bratislava. In 1949 the Laboratory moved to new premises as the Production and Contral Laboratory.
From 1950, the workplace was called the Regional Pharmaceutical Research Institute. The institute had chemical, pharmacological and biological departments. Its Department of Experimental Medicine can be considered the actual germ of the present IEPT. The Department performed descriptive pharmacological analyses of a broad spectrum of new substances (e.g. follicular hormone, bee-venom, intravenous preparation of iron) as well as routine assessments of the toxicity of some biologically active substances. In 1951, due to the lack f healthy and standardized animals for experiments, the Research Breeding Centre was founded at Dobrá Voda near Trnava. The Breeding Centre has been supplying experimental animals to institutes of the SAS, universities and institutes of the Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Industry. In the same year
In 1951, the workplace was renamed again to the Slovak Research Institute for Pharmacy and Biochemistry which was incorporated into the Research Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry in Prague. Research activities were focused mainly on alkaloids, hormones, purine derivates, optically active ephedrine and compounds derived from antimony for veterinary purposes.
In 1953, the Institute was incorporated into the newly established SAS within the Institute of Chemical Technology of Organic Compounds. In this period industrial projects were completed and research work became gradually oriented to basic science. Hypotensive alkaloids and cardioactive glycosides of wild-growing plants in Slovakia were isolated and studied. In 1963, the Central Laboratory of Pharmacology of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (CsAS) in Prague and the Department of Pharmacology of Natural Substances of the Institute of Chemistry of SAS in Bratislava including the Research Breeding Laboratory at Dobrá Voda, merged to establish the Institute of Pharmacology of the CsAS with Departments in Prague and Bratislava. The main interests of the newly formed Department in Bratislava were focused on the mechanism of action of different endogenous and synthesized substances on synaptic transmission in the peripheral and central nervous system, peripheral and coronary blood vessels, myocardial contractility and side effects of antituberculotics.
IThe year 1969 is important in the history of the Institute. The Slovak Departments of the Pharmacological Institute of the CsAS became independent and the Institute of Experimental Pharmacology of the SAS was created. From this time on the main interests of the Institute were concentrated on receptor specificity and the mechanism of action of alpha- and beta- adrenoceptor blocking drugs, on the studies of inhibitory and excitatory modulation of synaptic transmission by biogenic amines, theophylline, 5-hydroxytryptamine and the polyene antibiotic cyanein, on the elucidation of the mechanism of action of papaverine in the therapy of some neurosomatic disease, on the pharmacokinetics of pyrazolidine and xanthine derivatives and beta-adrenoceptor blockers, and on the relationship between chemical structure and specific mechanism of action f adrenergic receptor antagonist and carbanilate local anaesthetics. On studying the mechanism of action of carbidine, a new neuroleptic drug stobadine was synthesized, its membrane-stabilizing, alpha-adrenergic receptor-blocking and antihypoxic properties were demonstrated. The research in pharmacodynamics was focused on several areas, particularly systemic pharmacology, like cardiovascular and neuropharmacology, smooth muscle, cellular and biochemical pharmacology. In applied pharmacology, the Institute has a long tradition and is keeping in progress in teratology and pharmacological toxicology as documented also by the international symposia on toxicology biennially organized by the Institute. The two areas on basic teratology and toxicology yielded important results and provided many reports concerning studies on new drug registrations and the production of drugs to be used therapeutically. A similar development holds true for the research in pharmacokinetics concerning studies in basic pharmacokinetics, particularly in the metabolism and fate of biologically active substances in the living organism. With the aim to find optimal therapeutic regimens, theoretical modelling of drug pharmacokinetics in the human and animal bodies has been introduced.
Over the last decades the following scientific issues have been investigated:
- Study of receptor and non-receptor interactions between cationic amphiphilic substances and isolated cells at molecular and cellular levels (effect of beta-adrenoreceptor antagonists and antihistaminic drugs, stobadine and chloroquine on platelets, polymorphonuclear leukocytes and their interactions).
- Preclinical study of the action of compounds affecting the generation and/or action of reactive oxygen species in nervous tissues.
- Study of intracellular signalization in the smooth muscles of vessels and in the heart tissues.
- Effect of reactive oxygen species on smooth muscles of intestines, air passages and vessels.
- Mechanisms of absorption, distribution and elimination of drugs, mathematical modelling of pharmacokinetic processes.
- Creatin of structural models of biomedical systems, detection of metabolic pathways f drugs and development of controlled systems of drug release.
- Metabolic changes of xenobiotics; study of chemical and enzymatic mechanisms of molecular oxygen activation; toxic effects of reactive oxygen species and glucose in long-term hyperglycemia and protective effect of natural and synthetic antioxidants.
- Study of molecular mechanisms of transport and antioxidative properties of selected antioxidants by means of QSAR method.
- Possible negative effects of new drugs on pre- and postnatal development (embryotoxicity, teratogenicity and neurobehavioral development of offspring).
- Acute and chronic toxicities.
- Preclinical study of the original pyridoindole stobadine developed at the Institute (The Prize of the SAS was awarded for the year 2000).
At present, the main interest of the IEPT is focused on the study of pharmacological interventions in oxidative stress and proinflammatory reaction-induced injury of the organism. One of the main interests of the IEPT is to develop new pharmacotherapeutic approaches to diseases associated with pro-inflammatory processes and oxidative stress. An integral part of R&D activities are studies in the field of biopharmaceutical (medicinal) chemistry focused on the design and synthesis of new pyridoindole derivatives with anti-inflammatory and anti-radical properties and research on the use of hyaluronan biopolymers. Pharmacodynamic, pharmacokinetic as well as toxicological mechanisms of action of biologically active substances are investigated at the body, organ, cellular, membrane, receptor and molecular levels. Potential side toxic effects of drugs are studied using a battery of toxicity tests.
The IEPT plays an important role not only in the field of research and development but also in the education of young scientists. In cooperation with Comenius University and the Slovak Technical University, the IEPT educates future pharmacologists, toxicologists and biochemists who become qualified specialists for biomedical research not only in Slovakia but also in research institutes abroad.
MUDr. František V. Selecký CSc. (*30.9.1919 †22.1.1973)
Director of the Institute: 1947 – 31.12. 1962 Selecky
Prof. MUDr. Helena Rašková, DrSc. Dr h.c. (*2.1.1913 †13.4.2010)
Director of the Institute: 1.1.1963 – 31.12. 1968 Raskova
MVDr. Ondrej Mačička, CSc. (*19.7.1917 †2.10.1976)
Director of the Institute: 1.1.1969 – 2.10.1976 Macicka
Ing. Ladislav Molnár, CSc. (*29.11.1921 †6.10.2005)
Director of the Institute: 3.10. 1976 – 28.2.1977 Molnar
Prof. RNDr. Luděk Beneš, DrSc. (*7.9.1937 †9.8.2016)
Director of the Institute: 1.3.1977 – 31.12.1989 Benes
Prof. MUDr. Viktor Bauer, DrSc. (*31.5.1942 †11.5.2018)
Director of the Institute: 1.1.1990 – 31.12. 1999 Bauer
Doc. MUDr. Svorad Štolc, DrSc.
Director of the Institute: 1.1.2000 – 31.12.2003 (*16.7.1939) Stolc
Prof. MUDr. Radomír Nosáľ, DrSc. (*25.3.1941 †30.11.2020)
Director of the Institute: 1.1.2004 – 31.12.2011 Nosal
RNDr. Michal Dubovický, CSc. (*24.12.1966)
Director of the Institute: 1.1.2012 – 31.12.2019
Director of the Centre of Experimental Medicine: 1.1.2018 – 31.5.2018 Dubovicky
Mgr. Mojmír Mach, PhD. (*6.5.1977)
Director of the Institute: 1.1.2020 – ongoing
Director of the Centre of Experimental Medicine: 1.9.2022 – ongoing Mach