Professor Ferreira discovered the Bradykinin Potentiating Factor (BPF) which is a peptide found in the venom of a Brazilian snake. His discovery paved the way for the development of a new class of antihypertensive drugs, the angiotensin converting enzymes inhibitors (ACEI), the first of which is the drug called captopril. The drug was widely recognized for its antihypertensive efficacy, especially in diabetic patients with inflammatory and kidney diseases. It greatly helped reduce the number of patients who died from congestive heart failure.
Professor Ferreira also discovered the mechanism in which non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) work and studied a basic mechanism involving the inflammatory hyperalgesia. His study led to the development of a selected class of analgesics, particularly the COX 2 inhibitor, considered to be a remarkable progress for all NSAIDs.
Professor Ferreira’s contributions to science have been recognized worldwide. The ACEI and Cox-2 inhibitors are currently among the most widely used to relieve pain and inflammatory conditions, saving lives of millions of patients around the world.