New publication highlights efficacy of MMV048 against resistant strains of malaria

Novel compound is active across the entire parasite lifecycle and holds great promise as a single-dose cure

27 Apr 2017

Today, Science Translational Medicine publishes details of an exciting new antimalarial drug candidate, MMV048, effective against resistant strains of the malaria parasite, and across the entire parasite lifecycle1 with the potential to cure and protect in a single dose. The research was conducted by University of Cape Town’s Drug Discovery and Development Centre, H3D and MMV, in collaboration with a team of international researchers.

The paper is the first full disclosure of data demonstrating the antimalarial promise of MMV048, a compound discovered by an international team led by Prof. Kelly Chibale at the University of Cape Town and MMV.

“The ability of MMV048 to block all life cycle stages of the malaria parasite, offer protection against infection as well potentially block transmission of the parasite from person to person suggests that this compound could contribute to the eradication of malaria, a disease that claims the lives of several hundred thousand people every year,” said Prof. Kelly Chibale, Director of H3D, and senior author of the paper.

In 2014, MMV048 became the first new antimalarial medicine to enter phase I studies in Africa. Today, preparations are being made to begin phase IIa trials on this promising compound as a single-dose cure.

“This compound has enormous potential,” said Dr David Reddy, MMV’s CEO. “In addition to the exciting characteristics noted, it has the potential to be administered as a single dose, which could revolutionize the treatment of malaria. At MMV, we look forward to continuing our work in partnership with Prof. Chibale and colleagues at UCT to pursue the development of this and future next-generation antimalarials.

1. MMV048 is active in preclinical models against the blood stage, liver stage, gametocyte and ookinete stages of the malaria parasite and as a prophylactic agent versus malaria schizonts and hypnozoites