Pushing the boundaries of biology
Dr Brice Campo, Director, Drug Discovery, MMV and Mélanie Rouillier, Senior Project Coordinator, Drug Discovery, MMV
Three discovery teams jointly received the MMV Project of the Year 2016 award for their progress in developing new assay platforms to test compounds for activity against the liver stages of malaria. Brice and Melanie explain why this work is award winning, the challenges they encounter and where it will go from here.
Seeding drug discovery with open initiatives
Dr Benoît Laleu, Associate Director, Drug Discovery, MMV
Through open source research initiatives MMV aims to not only provide access to compounds but also create an open and collaborative forum for researchers. Dr Benoît Laleu explains the progress of research spurred by these initiatives as well as the key learnings.
New candidate UCT 943
Dr Tanya Paquet, Project Lead at, University of Cape Town
From the same chemical family as MMV048, UCT943 has shown impressive potency and solubility in the preclinical setting. Dr Tanya Paquet tells us how the two compounds compare and talks about the next steps for UCT943.
Artefenomel (OZ439) plus ferroquine
Dr Laurent Fraisse, Vice President, Infectious Diseases R&D, Sanofi
Artefenomel, a novel trioxolane, is a front-runner candidate for inclusion in a new antimalarial combination with ferroquine. Dr Laurent Fraisse talks about the added value of the combination as well as the advantage of working with MMV.
KAF156 plus lumefantrine
David Hughes, Senior Global Program Head, Novartis
KAF156 belongs to a novel class of antimalarial molecules, the imidazolopiperazines, and in phase IIa trials was able to rapidlyclear both P. falciparum and P. vivax parasites. David Hughes talks of the promise that KAF156 holds as a future antimalarial, as well as the path ahead to help realize that promise.
Prof. Alejandro Llanos-Cuentas, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru
DSM265 has the potential to both treat and protect against malaria in a single dose. Prof. Alejandro Llanos-Cuentas talks about the trial, the challenges of managing malaria in Peru and how DSM265 could help address them.
Aiming to stop relapsing malaria with a single-dose treatment
Dr Marcus Lacerda, Tropical Medicine Foundation, Dr Heitor Vieira Dourado/Fiocruz, Brazil
Tafenoquine is an investigational medicine that has completed phase III studies. Dr Marcus Lacerda talks about managing malaria in the Amazon and how tafenoquine, if approved, could help.
The controlled human malaria infection model
Dr Katharine Collins QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Australia
In recent years, the controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) model has become a very valuable tool for accelerating the evaluation of promising new drugs. Dr Katharine Collins explains how volunteer safety is assured and how the model has been adapted to exploretransmission-blocking activity.
Dr. Cristina Donini, Senior Director, Translational Medicine, MMV
MMV048 is a novel antimalarial compound from the aminopyridine class, with important activity across the entire parasite lifecycle. Dr Cristina Donini explains her vision for MMV048, as well as the importance of getting the formulation right and building clinical trial capacity in Ethiopia.
Tafenoquine - a potential medicine to prevent P. vivax relapse
Dr Justin Green, Director, Clinical Development, GlaxoSmithKline
Tafenoquine is an investigational medicine that has completed phase III studies. Dr Justin Green explains how the work is gathering pace.
The Pathogen Box - open and collaborative research is the way forward
Dr Fidelis Cho-Ngwa University of Buea, Cameroon, Pathogen Box and challenge grant recipient
Dr Fidelis Cho-Ngwa explains the challenges of his research and how the Pathogen Box and grant are helping to overcome them.
Treatment and prevention of P. vivax in Indonesia
Professor Kevin Baird, Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit (EOCRU), Jakarta, Indonesia
The Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit (EOCRU) develops clinical trial models for clinical interventions for preventing and treating malaria. Prof Kevin Baird speaks about the challenges of delivering healthcare in Indonesia.
Artefenomel - a novel trioxolane
Dr Marc Adamy, Project Leader, MMV
Artefenomel, a novel trioxolane, is a lead candidate for inclusion in a new antimalarial combination with a simpler dosing regimen, specifically formulated for children. Project Leader at MMV, Dr Marc Adamy describes the potential of this compound, its current status and future plans.
Potential to make a huge difference to the lives of populations suffering from malaria: DSM265
Robert Arch, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Japan
In 2015, the molecule successfully demonstrated safety and efficacy against Plasmodium falciparum in a phase IIa trial in malaria patients in Peru. Robert Arch explains the molecule’s exciting potential and next steps.
A big year for DDD498
Dr Beatrice Greco, Head of the Malaria & Diagnostics Innovation Cluster, Merck S.A.
It was a big year for DDD498. Merck's Beatrice Greco explains what's exciting about the molecule as well as the next steps.
Getting the formulation right
Dr Elizabeth Vadas, InSciTech Inc, Canada
It is critical to get the formulation of a new drug right to ensure it is easy to administer and store, acceptable to the target patient population, delivers the correct dosage, and has the desired effect when administered. Dr Elizabeth Vadas describes the challenges of drug formulation and explains how and why she has been assisting the project teams at MMV.
Tafenoquine - aiming to stop relapsing malaria
Dr Wiweka Kaszubska, VP Product Development, MMV, and Dr JP Kleim, Project Leader, GSK
Tafenoquine is an investigational medicine in phase III development. If approved, it would be the first new medicine to cure relapsing malaria in over 60 years. Dr Wiweka Kaszubska and Dr JP Kleim provide an update on the phase III programme.
Opening up malaria drug discovery
Dr Jeremy Burrows,VP, Head of Drug Discovery, MMV
To make the discovery and progression of exciting compounds more efficient and cost effective, MMV has new, more open and collaborative ways of working. Dr Jeremy Burrows explains MMV's open approach to drug discovery.
Open access initiatives to catalyse drug discovery
Dr Fabrice Boyom, Researcher, University of Yaoundé, Cameroon
Dr Fabrice Boyom is investigating natural products for the treatment of human, animal, and/or plant diseases. To help fuel his research he received MMV’s Open Access Malaria Box, a Malaria Box Challenge Grant and recently the Pathogen Box. Dr Boyom explains how he and his team have been using these resources.
New models to discover new molecules against the relapse
Dr Jetsumon Sattabongkot Prachumsri, Head of the Mahidol Vivax Research Unit, Thailand
In 2014, a team of researchers from Mahidol University, Thailand, was able to establish a P. vivax ‘hypnozoite’ cell-based in vitro assay to screen up to 1,000 compounds a year. Dr Jetsumon Sattabongkot Prachumsri talks about the assay, what it has told us so far and what it’s like to work with the Consortium.
New models to discover new molecules active against the dormant liver stage of P. vivax malaria
Prof. Dennis Kyle, Distinguished University Health Professor, University of South Florida, USA
Following on from the work of a team at Mahidol University, a second team of researchers was able to establish a P. vivax ‘hypnozoite’ cell-based in vitro assay. Prof. Dennis Kyle explains the progress, the advantages of their assay and what it’s been like working with the Consortium.
GSK692 - a novel compound steadfast in the face of resistance
Dr Paul Willis, Director of Drug Discovery, MMV, and Dr Laura Sanz, Tres Cantos Medicine Development Campus, GlaxoSmithKline
The GSK692 project team was awarded MMV's 2015 Project of the Year. Dr Paul Willis and Dr Laura Sanz talk about the award, the compound, and the collaboration.
Goodwill can be contagious
Dr Robert Wenslow, VP Business Development & Alex Chen, Chief Executive Officer, Crystal Pharmatech
Crystal Pharmatech, a Contract Research Organisation based in China, offer their expertise to MMV at a “not-for-profit” price. Dr Robert Wenslow, and Alex Chen explain why they work with MMV and what they have to offer.
Alternative malaria medicines
Dr Isabelle Borghini-Fuhrer Director, Product Development, MMV
Isabelle explains to International Innovation how MMV and partners are working to develop Pyramax®, a combination treatment of two antimalarial drugs that is soon to be launched in several malaria-endemic countries as a new therapy.
Discovering new molecules to prevent relapse
Dr Jetsumon Sattabongkot Head of the Mahidol Vivax Research Unit
A team of researchers from Mahidol University, Thailand, has developed a P. vivax ‘hypnozoite’ cell-based in vitro assay able to screen up to 150 compounds a year. Dr Jetsumon Sattabongkot explains how the assay works, what it reveals and what lies ahead.
One molecule: multiple lifecycle stages - MMV's perspective
Dr Paul Willis, Director, Drug Discovery & Dr Lidiya Bebrevska, Associate Director, Translational Medicine, MMV
DDD498 has potent activity against multiple stages of the malaria parasite’s lifecycle, giving it the potential to cure and stop the spread of the disease as well as protect people, all in a single-exposure. Dr Paul Willis and Dr Lidiya Bebrevska discuss recent progress and next steps.
Dr Phumla Sinxadi, Clinical Pharmacologist at UCT & Prof. Karen Barnes, Clinical Pharmacologist at UCT
MMV048 is a novel antimalarial compound from the aminopyridine class, and the first new medicine to be discovered by an African-led team. Dr Phumla Sinxadi explains how MMV048 is progressing and Prof. Karen Barnes describes why the compound and development programme are unique.
Protecting pregnant women
Matthew Chico, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Matthew Chico from LSHTM talks about why DHA-PQP (specifically, Eurartesim®, developed by Sigma-Tau and MMV) was chosen for this study and when the results are expected.
Dr Didier Ménard, Head, Malaria Molecular Epidemiology Unit, Institut Pasteur, Cambodia
Dr Didier Ménard and his team have developed an in vitro assay to enable in-development antimalarials to be tested against the most resistant strains of parasite we know of today. Building on this work the team was also able to identify a molecular marker to identify artemisinin-resistant parasites, which is now being used to map artemisinin resistance globally. He explains why drug resistance is such a problem, how the assay works and what it has told us so far.
One molecule: multiple lifecycle stages - Universtiy of Dundee's perspective
Prof. Ian Gilbert, Head of Chemistry & Dr Kevin Read, Head of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, University of Dundee, UK
DDD498 has potent activity against multiple stages of the malaria parasite’s lifecycle, giving it the potential to cure and stop the spread of the disease as well as protect people, all in a single-exposure. Prof. Ian Gilbert and Dr Kevin Read explain how the discovery was made and their experience of working with MMV.
Identifying new transmission-blocking agents
Dr Janneth Rodrigues, Insectary Supervisor at GSK-Tres Cantos
Several of the molecules progressing through clinical development and translational research have demonstrated that they can kill the sexual stages or the gametocytes in vitro. Dr Janneth Rodrigues explains how a Standard Membrane Feeding Assay has shown that many of these molecules also have the potential to block the transmission of malaria in the laboratory.
A Single-exposure cure
Rita Merino, Project Leader, Sanofi
OZ439 is in phase IIb combination studies with piperaquine (PQP) as a single-exposure cure in partnership with Sanofi. Rita Merino, OZ439/ 4-aminoquinoline Project Leader at Sanofi, explains the challenges in the development of this next generation medicine and what it’s like to work with MMV.
Dr Martin Casapia Asociación Civil Selva Amazónica (ACSA), Iquitos, Peru
DSM265 is a triazolopyrimidine-based highly selective inhibitor of Plasmodium’s dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH), a key enzyme for the parasite’s survival. Dr Martin Casapia Asociación Civil Selva Amazónica (ACSA), Iquitos, Peru; Co-Investigator for the DSM265 phase IIa trial tells us more about this promising compound.
New partners in the development of new medicines for malaria
Masahiko Koike, Director, Pharmaceutical Technology R&D Laboratories, Takeda
Takeda recognized the urgent need to contribute to research in the field of infectious diseases, such as malaria. Masahiko Koike explains how the company is contributing to two exciting antimalarial drug projects and what it’s like to work with MMV.
The Malaria Box and Pathogen Box
Dr Thomas Spangenberg, Research Scientist, MMV
The Malaria Box was launched in response to the need for access to physical samples of molecules to initiate drug discovery programmes for malaria and neglected diseases. The Pathogen Box is modelled on the success of the Malaria Box. Dr Thomas Spangenberg tells us how the Malaria Box is being used today and what's in store for the Pathogen Box.
A helping hand from the lab to the clinic
Dr Kennan Marsh, Director, Experimental Sciences, AbbVie Inc. USA
AbbVie, a research-based biopharmaceutical company, has been providing pro bono drug discovery resources and expertise to MMV since 2011. Dr Kennan Marsh, the interface between MMV and AbbVie, talks about the collaboration, compounds and the motivation to get involved.
Drug discovery with a difference
Dr Mat Todd, University of Sydney, Australia
In 2011, MMV launched an Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) programme. The programme differs from traditional drug discovery, as all research is reported openly, online and in real-time, allowing the best and the brightest to contribute. Dr Mat Todd, University of Sydney, leads one of these projects. He explains how it works and what the future might hold for open science.
Developing a single-dose malaria cure
Dr Marc Adamy, Director, Product Development, MMV
MMV and partners are working to identify and develop molecules that are fast acting and have a long duration of action for combination into a single-dose cure and first-generation SERCaP. Dr Marc Adamy explains the strategy to accelerate the development of OZ439. (2013)
Relapsing Plasmodium vivax
Prof Ric Price, Menzies School of Health Research and Charles Darwin University; and the Centre for Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford
Relapsing Plasmodium vivax malaria results in around 70–80 million clinical infections each year. Prof Ric Price discusses why P. vivax should be a research priority and what tools are needed in order to eradicate it.
New tools to accelerate drug development
Prof. James McCarthy, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Berghofer Medical Research Institute
To help expedite the development of promising compounds, MMV is employing innovative new tools. Prof. James McCarthy explains how the Challenge Model is helping to accelerate antimalarial drug development.
Discovering new molecules to target the relapse
Prof Sangeeta Bhatia, Director, Laboratory for Multiscale Regenerative Technologies, MIT
A team led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers has taken a major step towards developing a cost-effective P. vivax cell assay, by developing a system to grow liver tissue that can support the liver stage of both Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax malaria. Prof Sangeeta Bhatia explains her interest in this area of research and how the system works.
Developing paediatric medicines
Dr Isabelle Borghini-Fuhrer Director, Product Development, MMV
Children under the age of 5 years are the main victims of malaria, yet few antimalarial medicines have been developed with children’s needs in mind. Dr Isabelle Borghini-Fuhrer Director, Product Development, talks about the progress made and challenges of developing paediatric medicines.
A step closer to stopping the relapse
Dr Jörg Möhrle, Head of Translational Medicine & Dr Wiweka Kaszubska, Vice President, Head of Product Development, MMV
Tafenoquine entered Phase III in April 2014, taking it closer to becoming the only new medicine approved for the treatment of relapsing malaria in over 60 years. Dr Jörg Möhrle & Dr Wiweka Kaszubska talk about the challenges, the partnership and what the future holds.
MMV Project of the Year award 2013 - Tafenoquine
Dr JP Kleim, Project Leader, GlaxoSmithKline, UK
Thanks to the success of the Phase IIB trial, tafenoquine entered Phase III in April 2014, taking it closer to becoming the only new medicine approved for the treatment of relapsing malaria in over 60 years. Project Leader, Dr JP Kleim speaks about the partnership and what the future holds.
Dr Didier Leroy, Director, Drug Discovery, MMV
To reduce the overall burden of malaria we need to be able to stop transmission from person-to-person. Dr Didier Leroy explains the test cascade, developed by MMV and partners, to identify new and in-development molecules with transmission blocking activity.
Momentum builds for neglected diseases drug discovery
Dr Charlie Mowbray, DNDi, Dr David Waterson, MMV, and Dr Takushi Kaneko, TB Alliance
Experts from DNDi, MMV and TB Alliance speak about progress in R&D
New models to accelerate drug development
Mark Baker, Associate Director, Translational Medicine, MMV
Mark Baker, a clinical pharmacologist, explains two innovations that are enabling MMV to accelerate the collection and use of PK/PD data to speed the development of next-generation antimalarials.
Stopping the relapse
Dr Brice Campo, Associate Director, Drug Discovery, MMV
Our goal to eradicate malaria cannot be achieved without new anti-relapse medicines. Dr Brice Campo explains the research challenges presented by P. vivax and MMV’s discovery strategy to stop the relapse.
MMV390048 - Project of the Year
Professor Kelly Chibale, Founder and Director of the University of Cape Town’s Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3-D)
A novel antimalarial compound from the aminopyridine class, MMV390048, becomes the first researched in Africa to enter preclinical development. Kelly Chibale, Project Leader of the UCT team speaks about the compound and the collaboration with MMV.
MMV390048: Boosting African Research
Dr Michael Witty, Member of MMV's ESAC and Project Mentor
With more than 30 years of pharmaceutical research experience, Dr Michael Witty talks about the support he provides to the project MMV390048.
OSDD powering the pipeline and changing the paradigm
Dr Tanjore Balganesh, Project Head at India's OSDD Initiative
MMV is working closely with India’s Open Source Drug Discovery malaria programme to investigate the most promising compound series, initially for blood-stage malaria. Dr Tanjore Balganesh explains how open source research is taking off in India.
Using evidence to guide best practice
Prof Azra C Ghani, Imperial College London, UK & Prof Fred Binka, Principal Investigator of INESS
Mathematical modelling studies suggest that using multiple first-line ACTs could yield better clinical outcomes than deploying a single ACT nationwide particularly when drug resistance or treatment failures emerge. Prof. Azra Ghani and Prof. Fred Binka discuss mathematical modelling and how gathering evidence can improve malaria treatment.
Screening and the Malaria Box
Tim Wells, Chief Scientific Officer, MMV
Tim speaks about how the fruits of a huge malaria screening campaign are also being utilised more broadly for infectious disease drug discovery.
Malaria Community - Nick White
Professor Nick White, Mahidol University
MMV interview series. Speaking with members of the malaria community.
MMV at the World Conference of Science Journalists
Tim Wells, Chief Scientific Officer, MMV
Dr Tim Wells speaks about MMV at The World Conference of Science Journalists, the Middle East and malaria.
Developing medicines for children
Dr Isabelle Borghini-Fuhrer Director, Clinical Development, MMV
Few antimalarial medicines have been specifically formulated to provide children with age and weight-appropriate doses in a palatable form. Dr Isabelle Borghini-Fuhrer explains the challenges in the development of medicines for children and MMV’s strategy to overcome them.
The world’s first producer of WHO prequalified artesunate for injection for severe malaria
Guilin Pharmaceutical, China
Guilin Pharmaceutical has been producing intravenous (IV) artesunate for patients with severe malaria since 1987. But without WHO prequalification or stringent regulatory approval, it could not be purchased by international organizations or donor funds.
Ensuring safety of new medicines
Dr Stephan Duparc, Chief Medical Officer, MMV
Monitoring post-approval drug safety has become a matter of increasing importance, as it enables us to maximize the safe use of registered medicines. Dr Stephan Duparc explains what pharmacovigilance means for MMV.
Stopping the relapse
Dr Alejandro Llanos, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru
The dormant liverstage form of P. vivax, which can reactivate without warning leading to the feverish symptoms of malaria, remains a challenge to treat. Dr Alejandro Llanos talks about why there is a need for new medicines to treat relapsing malaria in Peru.