New publication highlights the anti-malarial efficacy of exciting new clinical candidate

April 26, 2017, University of Cape Town
Professor Kelly Chibale, the director of Africa's first integrated drug discovery and development center, H3D, at his laboratory at the University of Cape Town. Credit: Michael Hammond

A new paper published today in the prestigious journal Science Translational Medicine describes the discovery and biological profiling of an exciting new anti-malarial clinical drug candidate, MMV390048, effective against resistant strains of the malaria parasite, and across the entire parasite lifecycle, with the potential to cure and protect in a single dose. The research was conducted by the University of Cape Town (UCT)'s Drug Discovery and Development Centre, H3D, and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), in collaboration with a team of international researchers.

The paper is the first full disclosure of data demonstrating the antimalarial promise of MMV390048 (also known as MMV048), a compound discovered by an international team led by Professor Kelly Chibale at UCT and MMV.

"The ability of MMV048 to block all life cycle stages of the malaria parasite, offer protection against infection as well as potentially block transmission of the parasite from person to person suggests that this compound could contribute to the eradication of malaria, a disease that claims the lives of several hundred thousand people every year," said Professor Chibale, Founder and Director of H3D, founding Director of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Drug Discovery Research Unit at UCT, and senior author of the paper.

In 2014, MMV048 became the first new antimalarial medicine to enter phase I human studies in Africa. Today, preparations are being made to begin phase IIa human trials on this promising compound as a single-dose cure.

"This compound has enormous potential," said Dr David Reddy, MMV's CEO. "In addition to the exciting characteristics noted, it has the potential to be administered as a single dose, which could revolutionize the treatment of malaria. At MMV, we look forward to continuing our work in partnership with Professor Chibale and colleagues at UCT to pursue the development of this and future next-generation antimalarials."

The project has benefited from sustained funding from MMV, the South African Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and Strategic Health Innovation Partnerships (SHIP) unit of the SAMRC. MMV's support has also been critical in helping H3D build and reinforce their scientific networks of drug discoverers and understand the compound's role in blocking the transmission of the .

Despite the positive impact of medication, indoor spraying with insecticides and the use of insecticide bed-nets, around 429,000 people died from in 2015, mostly in Africa, according to the World Health Organisation's World Malaria Report.

The paper said resistance to treatment regimens still posed a threat and highlighted the importance of developing treatments containing new chemical classes with different modes of action.

Explore further: African research identifies strong candidate for possible single-dose malaria cure

More information: "Antimalarial efficacy of MMV390048, an inhibitor of Plasmodium phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase," Science Translational Medicine (2017). stm.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi/ … scitranslmed.aad9735

Related Stories

African research identifies strong candidate for possible single-dose malaria cure

August 28, 2012
A recently discovered compound from the aminopyridine class not only has the potential to become part of a single-dose cure for all strains of malaria, but might also be able to block transmission of the parasite from person ...

Potential new anti-malarial drug identified

February 6, 2014
A significant milestone in the development of a potential new antimalarial medicine has been reached by scientists at the University of Dundee, in partnership with the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV).

First drug-resistant malaria parasite detected in Africa

February 22, 2017
For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that ...

New single-dose malaria treatment could eventually help millions

June 18, 2015
A new drug that stops the malaria parasite in its tracks, and could be delivered in a single dose, has researchers excited about treatment prospects for the disease.

Malaria drug treatment breakthrough

March 22, 2013
An international study, involving researchers from Griffith University's Eskitis Institute, has discovered a molecule which could form the basis of powerful new anti-malaria drugs.

Hormone-disrupting compound could provide new approach to malaria control

December 15, 2016
A chemical that disrupts biological processes in female mosquitoes may be just as effective as insecticides in reducing the spread of malaria, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Recommended for you

Lung-on-a-chip simulates pulmonary fibrosis

May 25, 2018
Developing new medicines to treat pulmonary fibrosis, one of the most common and serious forms of lung disease, is not easy.

Reconstructing Zika's spread

May 24, 2018
The urgent threat from Zika virus, which dominated news headlines in the spring and summer of 2016, has passed for now. But research into how Zika and other mosquito-borne infections spread and cause epidemics is still very ...

Molecular network boosts drug resistance and virulence in hospital-acquired bacterium

May 24, 2018
In response to antibiotics, a gene regulation network found in the bacterium Acinetobacter baumannii acts to boost both virulence and antibiotic resistance. Edward Geisinger of Tufts University School of Medicine and colleagues ...

Tick bite protection: New CDC study adds to the promise of permethrin-treated clothing

May 24, 2018
The case for permethrin-treated clothing to prevent tick bites keeps getting stronger.

Past use of disinfectants and PPE for Ebola could inform future outbreaks

May 24, 2018
Data from the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak at two Sierra Leone facilities reveal daily usage rates for disinfectant and personal protective equipment, informing future outbreaks, according to a study published May 24, 2018 in ...

Early lactate measurements appear to improve results for septic patients

May 24, 2018
On October 1, 2015, the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a bundle of recommendations defining optimal treatment of patients suffering from sepsis, a life-threatening response to infection ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.