MMV launches call for compounds to accelerate research into new drugs for malaria
MMV is seeking new chemical compounds to screen against malaria through its MMV open innovation (MMVoi) initiative. MMVoi submissions are open to all, from industry partners with large compound libraries, to small groups with access to a handful of compounds. This is an ‘open innovation’ initiative in that compounds of interest will be tested for free by MMV and partners, and the data generated will be provided to submitters.
Replenishing the drug pipeline to combat resistance
Despite progress over recent years in driving down the burden of malaria, the latest WHO data show that there are still between 240-250 million infections and around 600,000 deaths each year. While significant progress can be made against the disease using current tools, progress could be accelerated with improved interventions, and the drug pipeline must also be continuously replenished to stay ahead of resistance to existing medicines. Ultimately, the goal of this initiative is to identify potential antimalarials suitable for further research.
Diversifying chemistry to innovate new tools
Over the past 24 years, MMV has learned that diverse compound collections yield novelty and contribute to innovation in drug discovery. This is why MMV and partners are offering to screen compounds submitted by the global research community, and to provide scientists with the data generated.
Through its partners, MMV has screened over 10 million compounds against malaria. This sounds like a large number but represents only a small fraction of the drug-like chemical space; thus, it remains a high priority to access and screen novel and diverse compounds with attractive chemistry for drug discovery.
How it works
Submissions from both industry and academia allow for compounds that have already been synthesized but not yet tested against malaria to be identified. Once compounds are tested by MMV and partners, they can be evaluated as potential starting points for new malaria drug discovery projects.
Projects with compounds of interest may be eligible for additional MMV support or to apply for funding via the Annual Call for Proposals. The process itself aims to generate antimalarial data on new compounds and thus expand the pool of chemical series available for optimization.