MMV organizes international malaria conference in Berlin

Conference provides a forum for experts to discuss Germany’s role in malaria and poverty-related diseases

01 Jul 2014

Since 1934, when Hans Andersag, a German scientist at Bayer, discovered Resochin, the progenitor of chloroquine, Germany has been at the forefront of malaria and global health research. The international malaria conference ‘Germany and MMV: pitting their strengths against malaria’ held in Berlin on Monday 23 June 2014, was organized by MMV in collaboration with the World Health Summit to provide an opportunity for Germany to celebrate its important legacy in malaria research and examine how to ensure it continues.

At the conference, international and German researchers working in the field of malaria met to share their experiences and discuss how to help eliminate/eradicate this deadly disease. Prof Detlev Ganten, of the World Health Summit opened the conference to a full audience. Dr Tim Wells of Medicines for Malaria Venture then introduced the day outlining the work of MMV and explaining the need for new medicines for malaria including drugs that address the emerging issue of drug resistance. Prof. Sanjeev Krishna, of St George’s University of London then gave the keynote speech in which he talked about exciting new developments in malaria drug research, such as the Malaria Box and new drug targets, like glucose transporters.

Throughout the day, scientists from MMV and Germany, gave presentations on topics ranging from new partnerships in drug development to perspectives from the field of the challenges we face to defeat malaria. These scientists included researchers from Tübingen University, currently helping MMV to conduct a Phase IIB trial in Lambarene, Gabon, of a single-dose, next-generation combination therapy OZ439 and piperaquine.

The conference highlighted the huge strides that have been made in malaria research, thanks to the work of German scientists. Nevertheless, much remains to be done and in the words of Prof. Ganten “all sectors must work together for the improvement of mankind”.