MMV receives funding to develop drugs to accelerate malaria eradication

Gates Foundation invests $160 million in MMV

22 Aug 2013

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has invested $160 million in MMV until 2018. This grant, to support the discovery, development and delivery of new, affordable and effective antimalarials, will contribute towards the Foundation’s vision of a malaria free world.

In 2007, Bill and Melinda Gates called on scientists, researchers and advocates to “embrace the effort to eradicate malaria”, and “not stop working until malaria is eradicated”. The global malaria community rose to the challenge and has succeeded in reducing the enormous burden of this disease. However, malaria continues to take over 600,000 lives each year, 86% of whom are young children. To eradicate malaria will take continuous funding and research into innovative antimalarial tools, such as new insecticides against the mosquito vector and effective new medicines against the malaria parasite.

Sustained support from the Gates Foundation has helped MMV and partners bring forward four new antimalarials from 2009 to 2012: Pyramax®, (pyronaridine-artesunate) co-developed with Shin Poong; Eurartesim® (dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine) with Sigma-Tau; Guilin’s artesunate injection for the treatment of severe malaria, Artesun®; and Coartem® Dispersible (artemether-lumefantrine), a child-friendly artemisinin-combination therapy (ACT) developed with Novartis.

“We are grateful for this generous investment in MMV by the Gates Foundation,” said Dr David Reddy, CEO of MMV. “It will allow us to progress exciting new projects that aim to develop single-dose cures for both P.falciparum and P.vivax malaria, prevent transmission and protect against re-infection, all of which will underpin efforts to eradicate malaria.”