[Ip-health] PRESS RELEASE: One step closer to blocking the transmission of malaria

Elizabeth Poll polle at mmv.org
Tue Feb 21 14:06:22 PST 2012

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to share with you some exciting news; MMV and partners have 
completed the first comparative analysis of all currently available and 
in-development antimalarials in terms of the steps they target in the 
malaria parasite’s lifecycle. This research has just been published in *PLoS 
Medicine* and brings us a step closer to blocking the transmission of 

Please find the press release below. Don't hesitate to contact me should 
you have any questions.

Best wishes,                                        






*Geneva, 21 February 2012. *Today, the first comparative analysis of all 
currently available and in-development antimalarials in terms of the steps 
they target in the malaria parasite’s lifecycle has been published in *PLoS 
Medicine. *This research, carried out on 50 anti-infective molecules by 
Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and partners, provides the missing 
pieces of the puzzle needed to develop future medicines able to block 
transmission of the parasite from person to person.

* *

Current medicines mostly target the malaria parasite at the blood stage in 
its lifecycle, because this is the step that leads to clinical symptoms. 
However, to block transmission of the parasite, a critical strategy of the 
malaria eradication agenda, we need to be able to kill the parasite at the 
sexual and vector (mosquito) stages of its lifecycle.

Research teams from Imperial College London, Genomics Institute of the 
Novartis Research Foundation, Swiss TPH, University of Basel, Scripps 
Research Institute and MMV were able to reproduce, in the laboratory, the 
complex biology of the malaria parasite throughout its lifecycle. This then 
allowed them to test the activity of the 50 molecules against each 
‘laboratory-produced step’ to determine exactly where they act.

The research revealed a number of interesting findings. Specifically, some 
already available antimalarials, such as pyronaridine and atovaquone, can 
target the liver and sexual stages of the parasite in addition to the blood 
stage. The endoperoxide OZ439, currently in Phase II clinical trials in 
MMV’s pipeline, and a new 8-aminoquinoline, NPC-1161B, also demonstrated 
transmission-blocking potential.

“These specific findings will be critical in guiding the selection and 
combination of next-generation molecules to succeed artemisinin combination 
therapy and will support the drive to eradicate malaria,” said Tim Wells, 
CSO of MMV, “while the complete data provides us with a benchmark against 
which to assess any newly discovered molecules.”

The original research article entitled: ‘The Activities of Current 
Antimalarial Drugs on the Life Cycle Stages of Plasmodium: A Comparative 
Study with Human and Rodent Parasites’, can be accessed free of charge via 
the following link: www.plos.org/media/press/2012/plme-09-02-leroy.pdf

* *

* *

*For more information about MMV 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

* *

*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.



*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).


MMV is currently managing the largest portfolio of antimalarial R&D 
projects ever assembled. In October 2011, Eurartesim® 
(dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine), 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 (artemether-lumefantrine), a 
child-friendly version of the ACT Coartem®, was developed by Novartis in 
partnership with MMV and launched in 2009.


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.


Since foundation, MMV has received financial support from the following 
donors: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; UK DFID; Rockefeller Foundation; 
Netherlands Minister Devt. Co-operation; WHO/RBM; Swiss Government 
(DEZA/SDC); World Bank; Wellcome Trust; ExxonMobil Foundation; BHP 
Billiton; USAID; EU CRIMALDDI; Irish Aid; National Institutes of Health 
(NIH); Spanish Agency for International Development; Newcrest Mining 




Elizabeth Poll
Editor and Publications Officer
T +41 22 799 45 81
M +41 79 907 59 92
F +41 22 799 40 61
polle at mmv.org

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