[Ip-health] Press Release: Netherlands-based consortium teams up with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) in world-leading malaria translational research programme

Jaya Banerji banerjij at mmv.org
Mon Apr 25 01:35:23 PDT 2016

To commemorate World Malaria Day, Dutch life science public-private partnership organization, Lygature, and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) have announced the establishment of a Netherlands-based translational research consortium that will target the development of next-generation medicines to help eradicate malaria.

Please find below the press release and notes for editors.


World Malaria Day: Netherlands-based consortium teams up with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV)
in world-leading malaria translational research programme

Joint programme managed by Lygature and MMV targets identification of next-generation medicines for the eradication of malaria

Leiden (The Netherlands) and Geneva (Switzerland), 25 April 2016. Dutch life science public-private partnership organization, Lygature, and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) today announced the establishment of a Netherlands-based translational research consortium[1] that will target the development of next-generation medicines to help eradicate malaria.

With funding from the Dutch government plus co-funding offered by MMV, this large-scale new research initiative will focus on the early-stage development (hit-to-lead and lead optimization) of potential drugs for malaria transmission blocking and relapse prevention. Lygature will manage the Netherlands consortium programme to maximize its focus on the translation of research results into tangible antimalarial solutions.

Globally, malaria kills one child every 2 minutes. However, because it predominantly affects people in the poorest areas of the world, research into effective ways to cure or prevent the spread of the disease has typically been under-funded relative to the scale of the problem.

Building partnerships, such as the one announced today by Lygature and MMV, offers a solution to the funding issue and also allows the bridging of any gaps in the required expertise. Financed by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the 'Product Development Partnership II Fund', the new consortium will work on researching malaria drugs for transmission blocking and relapse prevention - widely regarded as two critical pathways to ultimate eradication of the disease. Among a wide range of deliverables, the consortium is expected to deliver the Netherlands' first antimalarial preclinical drug candidate by the end of the programme in 2018.

"Malaria is a disease that predominantly affects some of the poorest areas of the world, and there is a strong body of evidence suggesting that eradicating the disease would go a long way towards alleviating that poverty," says Herman Verheij, Programme Manager at Lygature. "Thanks to significantly renewed funding from the Dutch government for research into neglected diseases, this new collaboration with MMV gives us the opportunity to leverage the Netherlands' life-science expertise in the worldwide fight against this devastating disease."

"One organization alone cannot defeat malaria. Partnerships are the only way forward," commented Tim Wells, Chief Scientific Officer at MMV. "We are extremely pleased to be working with Lygature so that we can intensify our efforts to combat malaria with Dutch research expertise as well as funding from The Netherlands. The greater the number of candidate drugs we can introduce into clinical development, the higher the chances of building a needs-based antimalarial medicine chest that will block the spread of malaria, prevent relapsing malaria and save countless lives."

Lygature will contribute its extensive experience in scientific programme management and MMV will contribute its broad antimalarial drug research and development experience and know-how. The Netherlands already has significant expertise in malaria research in terms of assay and drug development, and strong links with African institutes in malaria-endemic countries.

For more information, please contact:

Marjoke Kortas
Communications Manager
marjoke.kortas at lygature.org<mailto:marjoke.kortas at lygature.org>
+31 (0) 62 940 9770
Jaya Banerji
Director, Advocacy and Communications
Medicines for Malaria Venture
banerjij at mmv.org<mailto:banerjij at mmv.org>
T: +41 (0) 22 555 0327
Mobile: +41 79 707 7181

About MMV
MMV is a leading product development partnership (PDP) in the field of antimalarial drug research and development. Its mission is to reduce the burden of malaria in disease-endemic countries by discovering, developing and delivering new, effective and affordable antimalarial drugs.

Since its foundation in 1999, MMV and partners have developed and brought forward six new medicines: Coartem(r) Dispersible (artemether-lumefantrine), a child-friendly formulation developed with Novartis; Guilin's artesunate injection Artesun(r) for the treatment of severe malaria; Eurartesim(r) (dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine) with Sigma-Tau; Pyramax(r) and Pyramax(r) Granules for children (pyronaridine-artesunate) co-developed with Shin Poong; and Guilin's sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine + artesunate amodiaquine (SP+AQ) for seasonal malaria chemoprevention, which received WHO prequalification with MMV's support.

MMV and partners manage a portfolio of 65 projects, the largest portfolio of antimalarial R&D and access projects ever assembled. The portfolio includes nine new drugs in clinical development addressing unmet medical needs in malaria, including medicines for children, pregnant women and relapsing malaria, and drugs that could support the elimination/eradication agenda. MMV's success in research and access & product management comes from its extensive partnership network of over 400 pharmaceutical, academic and endemic-country partners in more than 55 countries.

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

Find out more at www.mmv.org<http://www.mmv.org>

About Lygature
Lygature drives the development of new medical solutions for patients by managing public-private partnerships that bring together academia, industry and society. Every day we pioneer solutions in the areas of medical technology and pharmacotherapy to serve patients worldwide.
Lygature is a not-for-profit organization based in the Netherlands. We build upon the legacy of the Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM) and Top Institute Pharma (TI Pharma).
Find out more at www.lygature.org<http://www.lygature.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.



[1] The Netherlands-based consortium for malaria research comprises Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (Nijmegen), TropIQ (Nijmegen), Pansynt (Nijmegen), Mercachem (Nijmegen), BPRC (Rijswijk) and Pivot Park (Oss).

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