[Ip-health] MMV press release: Single-dose cure for malaria edges closer to the clinic
banerjij at mmv.org
Tue Feb 8 06:16:03 PST 2011
Single-dose cure for malaria edges closer to the clinic
MMV's lead contender for a single-dose cure for malaria and artemisinin-resistant parasites enters Phase II clinical trials.
8 February 2011, Geneva. A novel synthetic peroxide antimalarial drug candidate, OZ439 has successfully completed Phase 1 clinical trials where it was shown to be safe. It has progressed to trials in malaria patients. The secrets of OZ 439's success have been published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
This exciting compound is being developed by Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) in partnership with three academic institutes: University of Nebraska Medical Center, USA, Monash University, Victoria, Australia, and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute.
OZ 439 offers more than a convenient treatment advance. With the threat of artemisinin resistance and its potential to jeopardize recent wins in malaria control, fully synthetic peroxides, such as OZ 439, could provide the urgently needed alternative.
"OZ 439 holds a great deal of promise to power the eradication of malaria as it fits the bill on the two most crucial features of the ideal medicine: the potential for a one-dose cure and a treatment for artemisinin-resistant strains. If the clinical development proceeds as planned we can expect to see a new combination medicine launched by 2016. This will be a great day for malaria treatment and a real credit to the power of partnerships," said Tim Wells, MMV's Chief Scientific Officer.
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banerjij at mmv.org<mailto:banerjij at mmv.org>
Published open access article attached and available at
OZ439 is fast-acting synthetic peroxide effective against all the blood stages of P. falciparum - the most deadly strain of malaria. Unlike all other synthetic peroxides and semi-synthetic artemisinin derivatives, OZ 439 has been seen to completely cure malaria with a single oral dose while also exhibiting protective activity superior to that of the benchmark prophylaxis, mefloquine.
With the threat of artemisinin resistance and its potential to jeopardize recent wins in malaria control, fully synthetic peroxides, such as OZ 439, could provide the urgently needed alternative. They contain the same peroxide bond that is believed to confer potent antimalarial activity to artemisinin while being structurally distinct enough to not fall foul to the same strains of resistant parasite as artemisinin
Medicines for Malaria Venture, a leading, not-for-profit, public-private partnership, was established in Switzerland in1999 under the aegis of WHO-TDR. It is pledged to the discovery, development and delivery of new, effective and affordable antimalarial drugs that will help reduce the malaria burden in disease-endemic countries.
In its 11 years of existence MMV has had several successes. In 2009, in collaboration with Novartis, MMV launched its first-ever product - a sweet-tasting, paediatric formulation, Coartem® Dispersible. As of January 2011, almost 52 million treatments have been distributed to 33 countries, saving the lives of countless children. In November 2010, artesunate injection for the treatment of severe malaria was approved by the WHO's Prequalification programme - MMV has been working with the manufacturer, Guilin Pharmaceutical Co., to ensure that the manufacture of this product meets WHO standards. As a result of WHO approval, countries and UN agencies will now be able to use donor funds to procure this essential medicine.
MMV is currently managing the largest portfolio of antimalarial R&D projects ever assembled. Of over 50 promising projects, two MMV-supported artemisinin combination therapies, Eurartesim(tm) and Pyramax®, are awaiting regulatory approval by the European Medicines Agency in 2011.
MMV's strength comes from its unique product development partnership (PDP) model reflected in its ever-growing global network in 37 countries of more than 140 pharmaceutical, academic and endemic-country partners. MMV also works in close partnership with a number of WHO programmes that include TDR, the Global Malaria Programme (GMP) and RollBack Malaria (RBM).
MMV manages over USD 515 million 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, for the development of innovative antimalarials.
With a strong team and a global network of partners, MMV aspires to achieve its vision of a world in which these innovative medicines will cure, protect and save the lives of under-served populations at risk of malaria, and ultimately help to eradicate this terrible disease.
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