Rethinking drug development: the integrated model

23 Jul 2018

In its research and development (R&D) efforts, MMV has developed an integrated model that addresses the need for an accelerated, efficient and appropriate approach. Given the 12-to-15-year timeline from discovery to launch of a new medicine, it is important to invest in only those promising compounds that can potentially satisfy unmet medical needs. This is described by two target product profiles (TPPs).

TPP 1 defines the characteristics of drugs for treatment, prevention and transmission-blocking, also known as a single-encounter radical cure and prophylaxis (SERCaP).Drugs that meet TPP 1 would be effective against resistant strains of malaria, would cure clinical malaria, stop transmission and prevent relapse. They would also simplify case management and thus improve compliance.

TPP 2 describes drugs that can protect non-infected people entering an area of high malaria endemicity, also known as single exposure chemoprotection (SEC). Compounds that meet this profile would need to provide a long duration of protection and have distinct mechanisms of action compared with those used by TPP 1 drugs.

The development of a new treatment (SERCaP) or new protection (SEC) requires the combination of at least two active candidate drugs. Thus, MMV has defined five target candidate profiles (TCPs) corresponding to different clinical attributes for compounds that will contribute to the TPPs (as illustrated by the graphic above) and has built a strong portfolio of molecules with diverse or competing mechanisms to combat resistance.2, 3

  1. As proposed 7 years ago by the malERA Consultative Group on Drugs. “A Research Agenda for Malaria Eradication: Drugs”. PLoS Med. 8(1): e1000402 (2011).

  2. Burrows JN et al. “Designing the next generation of medicines for malaria control and eradication”. Malar J 12:187 (2013). 

  3. Burrows JN et al. “New developments in antimalarial target candidate and product profiles”. Malar J 16:26 (2017).