[Ip-health] PRESS RELEASE: Free compounds for neglected diseases research

Elizabeth Poll polle at mmv.org
Mon Dec 19 10:39:35 PST 2011


Dear all,



In an attempt to keep scientific interest high in the research and
development of new medicines for malaria and neglected diseases, Medicines
for Malaria Venture and Scynexis will be offering 400 active compounds free
of cost to researchers from Monday, 19 December.



Please find attached the press release and a set of frequently asked
questions.



Kind regards,

Lizzie



*EMBARGOED UNTIL 3 pm CET, 9am EST,  MONDAY 19 DECEMBER 2011*

* *

*PRESS RELEASE*

* *

*MMV and SCYNEXIS offer 400 active compounds for neglected disease
drug research at no cost*

* *

*19 December 2011, Geneva.* In a bid to catalyse malaria and neglected
disease drug discovery, MMV and SCYNEXIS, Inc. have assembled a Malaria Box
of 400 carefully selected commercially available compounds with
antimalarial activity and will provide it to researchers at no cost.



All 400 compounds in the Malaria Box have confirmed activity against the
blood-stage of *P. falciparum* – the most deadly of the malaria parasites –
and were selected by experienced medicinal chemists from an extensive
screening of around four million compounds from the chemical libraries of
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline. The
Malaria Box includes 200 drug-like compounds as starting points for oral
drug discovery as well as 200 probe-like compounds representing the
broadest cross-section of chemical diversity for use as biological tools.

“The discovery of novel molecules to feed the pipeline of antimalarial
drugs remains a constant challenge,” said Tim Wells, CSO of Medicines for
Malaria Venture, “and all the more pressing in light of emerging resistance
to current therapies. One of the rate-limiting factors for drug discovery
is access to the actual active compounds with which to conduct research.
With the Malaria Box concept, together with our partner SCYNEXIS, we hope
to overcome this hurdle by carefully selecting and making available the
most promising molecules to propel malaria drug discovery to the next
level.”

The scope of the Malaria Box goes beyond the malaria field as the compounds
could also be used in research for drugs for other parasitic or neglected
diseases. Making the compounds available to the entire neglected-disease
community could lead to a better understanding of the similarities and
differences between these diseases.

“SCYNEXIS is pleased to participate with MMV in the Malaria Box project as
part of our on-going commitment to address the tremendous challenges
presented by neglected diseases,” said Yves Ribeill, President & CEO of
SCYNEXIS, Inc.  “SCYNEXIS stands ready to direct its proprietary
technologies including its Integrated Parasitology Screening Platform and
its HEOS® Collaborative Discovery Information Software Platform along with
its highly experienced drug discovery teams to find innovative cures for
these diseases.”

The Malaria Box can be requested free-of-charge from MMV’s website
www.mmv.org/malariabox. All that is asked in return is that any data
gleaned from research on the Box is published, shared and placed into the
public domain to continue the virtuous cycle of research.

*About MMV*

MMV is recognized as the leading product development partnership (PDP) in
the field of antimalarial drug research and development. It was established
as a foundation in 1999, and registered in Switzerland.

*MMV’s mission* is to reduce the burden of malaria in disease-endemic
countries by discovering, developing and facilitating delivery of new,
effective and affordable antimalarial drugs.

*MMV’s vision* is a world in which these innovative medicines will cure and
protect the vulnerable and under-served populations at risk of malaria, and
help to ultimately eradicate this terrible disease.

MMV’s strength comes from its product development partnership (PDP) model
reflected in its network of more than 170 pharmaceutical, academic and
endemic-country partners in 45 countries. MMV also works in close
partnership with a number of WHO programmes that include TDR, the Global
Malaria Programme (GMP) and Roll Back Malaria (RBM).

The key to MMV’s success lies in the focus of its mission, and the
diversity of its team of almost 50 personnel from more than 20 countries,
handpicked for their expertise and commitment to global health. Governed by
the values of respect, integrity, trust and excellence, MMV is recognized
for its industry-style portfolio management and wise administration of
funds. It manages funds received and committed from long-term donors such
as government agencies, private foundations, international organizations,
and corporate foundations. In addition, it receives in-kind donations in
the form of staff, facilities, and technology from its industry partners,
estimated to be equal in dollar value to the funds from donors.

MMV is currently managing the largest portfolio of antimalarial R&D
projects ever assembled. Of over 50 promising projects, one MMV-supported
artemisinin combination therapy (ACT), Pyramax®, is undergoing regulatory
review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). In October 2011
dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (Eurartesim®), an ACT developed in
partnership with sigma-tau, was granted regulatory approval by the EMA and,
in November 2010, Guilin’s artesunate injection for the treatment of severe
malaria was approved by the WHO’s Prequalification programme with
assistance from MMV. In addition, Coartem® Dispersible, a child-friendly
version of the ACT Coartem, was developed by Novartis in partnership with
MMV and launched in 2009. Since then, more than 92 million courses of
treatment have been supplied to 35 malaria-endemic countries.

*About SCYNEXIS*

SCYNEXIS delivers efficient and innovative drug discovery and development
solutions to our global health partners. Our record of success is
exemplified by the delivery of eleven pre-clinical drug candidates over the
last five years including a clinical candidate (SCYX-7158) for African
sleeping sickness delivered to the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative
(DNDi). SCYNEXIS’ teams are available to take projects forward for
industrial, academic, PDP and other partners to help address the challenges
of global health. We are supported by an extensive network of global
technical experts.



SCYNEXIS has developed a robust screening platform for the assessment of
compounds against parasite species relevant to neglected tropical diseases.
The platform is designed to identify compounds with potential activity in
the areas of human health and public health.



Discovery teams consisting of medicinal chemistry, parasitology,
computational chemistry, *in vitro *pharmacology, ADMET-PK/bioanalytical
chemistry are available through SCYNEXIS Integrated Parasitology and
tailored to our customers’ needs. In addition, SCYNEXIS applies its
powerful proprietary technologies such as HEOS® SaaS Discovery Information
Software Platform for comprehensive drug discovery information management
and the MEDCHEM-FACTORY® High-Throughput Synthesis and Purification
Platform to rapidly and effectively progress drug discovery projects.



*For more information about MMV and the Malaria Box please contact:*


Jaya Banerji

Director, Advocacy & Communications, MMV

Tel: +41 (0) 22 799 4071

Mobile: +41 (0) 79 707 7181

Email: banerjij at mmv.org



*For more information about SCYNEXIS please contact:*



Terry Marquardt

Executive Director

Market Development & Communications, SCYNEXIS

terry.marquardt at scynexis.com

Tel: +1-919-544-8603





* *

*MMV Disclaimer*

* *

This document contains certain forward-looking statements that may be
identified by words such as ‘believes’, ‘expects’, ‘anticipates’,
‘projects’, ‘intends’, ‘should’, ‘seeks’, ‘estimates’, ‘future’ or similar
expressions, or by discussion of, among other things, vision, strategy,
goals, plans, or intentions. It contains hypothetical future product target
profiles, development timelines and approval/launch dates, positioning
statements, claims and actions for which the relevant data may still have
to be established. Stated or implied strategies and action items may be
implemented only upon receipt of approvals including, but not limited to,
local institutional review board approvals, local regulatory approvals, and
following local laws and regulations. Thus, actual results, performances or
events may differ from those expressed or implied by such statements.



We ask you not rely unduly on these statements. Such forward-looking
statements reflect the current views of Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV)
and its partner(s) regarding future events, and involve known and unknown
risks and uncertainties.



MMV accepts no liability for the information presented here, nor for the
consequences of any actions taken on the basis of this information.
Furthermore, MMV accepts no liability for the decisions made by its
pharmaceutical partner(s), the impact of any of their decisions, their
earnings and their financial status.


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