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Human volunteers

Project Leader: Dr Cristina Donini, MMV

Partners: University of Cape Town, South Africa

MMV390048 is a novel antimalarial compound belonging to the aminopyridine class. The chemical series was initially identified by Griffith University scientists in Australia as part of MMV’s extensive malaria screening campaign of around 6 million compounds. A team of scientists from the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3-D) in South Africa, led by Prof. Kelly Chibale then scrutinised and further explored the antimalarial potential of the series. With parasitological and pharmaceutical support from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and Monash University, respectively, the team selected the most promising compounds from the series to be optimized and re-tested.

Through the lead optimization programme a compound was identified (MMV390048) with potent activity against multiple developmental stages of the malaria parasite’s lifecycle, and with the potential to block malaria transmission. The compound has demonstrated an excellent preclinical safety and pharmacokinetic profile in animals. In November 2013, the Global Safety Board approved the ‘first-in-human’ study protocol, which has now been submitted to the South African regulatory authorities. If approved, MMV390048 is expected to enter into Phase I trials at the University of Cape Town, South Africa in Q2 2014.

Watch the Carte Blanche video interview with Prof Kelly Chibale - aired 5 May 2013