Drug Design and Development Lab

The BioPharm Lab Complex includes three well integrated laboratories and a supporting analytical center: — Laboratory for extraction of natural products and synthesis of bioactive compounds; — “In vitro” laboratory for evaluation of biological activity and toxicity; — Pharmaceutical development and characterization and “In Silico“ design. The lab complex is designed to perform problem-driven and industryoriented R&D directed to efficient, value-added and environmentally-friendly utilization of the national bio-resources and valorization of industry byproducts and bio-wastes to obtain products with high added value.


  • Full characterization of raw materials, intermediate and final products, as well as long term and accelerated stability
  • Development of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical formulations
  • External quality control for pharma companies
  • Complete physicochemical characterization of new chemical entities (required for every drug)
  • Ligand-based drug design. Quantitative structure/bioactivity relationships (QSAR) and 3D QSAR; Prediction of physicochemical properties
  • Quantitative chemical structure/property relationships (QSPR)
  • Prediction of pharmacokinetic behavior. Quantitative chemical structure/pharmacokinetics relationships (QSPhR)


  • Development of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical forms.
  • Biopharmaceutical characterization of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical forms:

– determination of disintegration, dustiness and mechanical strength of tablets;

– determination of bulk density, residual humidity and particle size of powders and granules;

– determination of dissolution kinetics of solid dosage forms;

– determination of disintegration of suppositories.

  • Determination of affinity constants by the method of isothermal titration calorimetry.
  • In vitro determination of permeability through intestinal mucosa, blood-brain barrier and skin by PAMPA method.
  • Experimental determination of water solubility, lipid solubility and ionization constants.


  • Development and biopharmaceutical characterization of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical forms. Funding: Bulgarian and foreign pharmaceutical companies. PI: Assoc. Prof. Christo Tzachev, Current.
  • IT-based design of novel drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Funding: Center of Excellence for Informatics and ICT. PI: Prof. Irini Doychinova, 2018 – 2023.
  • New inhibitors of acetylcholinesterase to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Funding: Bulgarian Science Fund. PI: Prof. Irini Doychinova, 2017 – 2020.

Completed projects:

  • Innovative food supplements from Bulgarian plants and microorganisms. Stage I. Testing of scientific hypotheses. Funding: R&D Consortium, Sofia Techpark. PI: Assoc. Prof. Christo Tzachev, 2018
  • In vitro and in vivo studies of a newly synthesized galanthamine derivative with potent anticholinesterase activity. Funding: Medical Research Council, MU-Sofia. PI: Prof. Irini Doychinova, 2017
  • Development and biopharmaceutical characterization of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical forms. Funding: Bulgarian pharmaceutical companies. PI: Assoc. Prof. Christo Tzachev, 2016 – 2018


  • Tableting: Erweka model EP-1 single- punch tablet press
  • Granulation and film wrapping: Erweka model AR 403
  • Drying, pelleting and coating: Mini-Glatt / GLATT 14528
  • Disintegration test: ELECTROLAB Model ED-2 SAPO
  • Disolution test: Erweka Model DT 826
  • Fritability Test: ELECTROLAB Model EF-2W
  • Test of tablet mechanical strength: ELECTROLAB Model ESB-2PRL
  • Bulk density test for granules and powders ELECTROLAB model ЕTD-1020
  • Residual moisture test: Precisa Gravimetrics model XM60 measurement device
  • Digital Sieve Analyzer for Granules and Powders Octagon 200 Endecotts
  • Suppository disintegration test: LECTROLAB model ESDT-3
  • UV/VIS Spectrophotometer Dynamic Halo DB-20S Dynamica
  • Vertical ultrasonic homogenizer Bandelin model SONOPULS HD3100
  • Encapuslator B-395 Pro
  • Climate Stability Chamber KBF P 240
  • Isothermal titration calorimeter nanoITC TA Instruments
  • Equipment for experimental determination of water solubility, ionization constant, partition and distribution coefficients, PION Inc.
  • PAMPA (Parallel Artificial Membrane Permeability Assay), PION Inc.


Vesselin Petrov, PhD

Scientific fields: Physical Chemistry, Cheminformatics, Computational Chemistry,  Mathematical Modeling in Chemistry;


Lecturer in Physical Chemistry, Thermodynamics & Kinetics, Applied Molecular Spectroscopy and Statistics at the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy of the University of Sofia. Professor and senior researcher in New University of Lisbon, Portugal;

Co-author of over 40 scientific publications with over 800 citations.

Co-founder of InnovesT LTD, startup spin-off company.

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