Wednesday, 13 March 2013
A single-dose treatment for malaria?
A recently discovered compound, named MMV390048, from the aminopyridine class would not only have the potential to become part of a single-dose cure for all strains of malaria, but might also be able to block the parasite transmission from person to person. This was announced this week at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. The compound was discovered by a partnership involving the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), based in Switzerland, and a team of scientists from the UCT Drug Discovery and Development Centre led by Professor Kelly Chibale. With parasitological, pharmacological and contract chemistry support from other institutions, the team identified and developed in just 18 months a candidate suitable for preclinical development. Animals infected with malaria parasites were completely cured by a single oral dose of MMV390048. The compound was also active against a wide panel of resistant strains of the malaria parasite. On the basis of these initial results the compound was selected by MMV for further development; making it the first compound researched on African soil to enter preclinical development in partnership with MMV. MMV390048 is scheduled to enter clinical trials in late 2013.