Pre-clinical assessment of exciting new malaria drug candidate published

Pre-clinical assessment of exciting new malaria drug candidate published

The complete set of preclinical data which were used to support selection of the novel antimalarial compound, DSM265, as a drug candidate for future development has been published today in Science Translational Medicine. The paper contains a complete review of all of the aspects of the compound that have been studied including the parasitology, physical chemistry, pharmacokinetics and safety.

“This is an important publication from a number of perspectives on a promising antimalarial compound,” said Dr Timothy Wells, MMV’s Chief Scientific Officer. “It’s rare that all of the data on an individual compound are published together, and even rarer that this happens so early in the development programme. Through publications of this kind, MMV is demonstrating its commitment to open sharing of data, providing insight into its approach for development of antimalarials and helping to avoid redundancy in scientific research.” 

DSM265 is an inhibitor of a key parasitic enzyme and in humans has been shown to be active for a long time after a single dose. “It’s a very exciting new drug candidate” said Dr Susan Charman, Professor at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Australia. “It shows promise both for treating malaria and for protecting vulnerable populations.”

The molecule is currently in a clinical efficacy and safety study in Peru, in collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) fund. It was originally discovered in a collaboration led by Prof. Margaret Phillips at the UT Southwestern Medical Center, funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), MMV and the Wellcome Trust.

The paper is dedicated to the late Dr Ian Bathurst, former Head of Discovery at MMV, and the late Dr Martin John Rogers, who worked at the NIH, both passionate advocates for malaria drug discovery who worked tirelessly to promote the clinical advancement of DSM265.

See the press release on the UT Southwestern website.

Read the story on the University of Washington website.

View a free copy the article "A long-duration dihydroorotate dehydrogenase inhibitor (DSM265) for prevention and treatment of malaria" on the Science Translational Medicine website.