PLOS Medicine publishes New Malaria Eradication Road Map

Co-authored by MMV’s CSO ‘malERA Refresh’ considers the research agenda for all tools for malaria elimination

01 Dec 2017

Today, PLOS Medicine has published the Malaria Eradication Research Agenda’s (malERA) update regarding diagnostics, drugs, vaccines, and vector control tools, and strategies needed for malaria elimination and eradication. This ‘refreshed’ approach allows for a greater understanding of the relationships between these research agendas.

The paper, co-authored by Dr Timothy Wells, MMV’s Chief Scientific Officer, is the second edition of a paper written in 2011 and part of a series of six published in PLOS Medicine.

Advances in recent years in malaria diagnostics, drugs, vaccines and vector control are making malaria elimination a real possibility. Yet, even with these new tools, the task remains a significant challenge in many settings. The paper considers the new interventions needed to make malaria elimination a possibility in all settings and highlights the advantages of the product development partnership model in meeting this challenge.

For malaria medicines this means the development of new drugs for treatment and prevention that overcome resistance to existing drugs, regimens that simplify treatment such as a single-dose cure, new drugs to interrupt transmission and to stop malaria relapse, as well as new medicines that could be used during pregnancy.

“The paper reflects changes the R&D community has witnessed in the malaria landscape over the last 6 years, and how our thinking has evolved in response,” said Dr Timothy Wells. “It clearly outlines the challenges that we must address to support malaria elimination. For example, as countries move towards elimination, the contribution of the sub-clinical reservoir of malaria becomes more apparent and with it an increased emphasis on the need for transmission-blocking interventions. This, among others, is a focus of MMV’s work with partners to discover and develop new medicines.” 

The research agenda is in line with WHO’s Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016–2030, as well as MMV’s 5-year Business Plan 2017-2021.