Jomaa Pharma and MMV to co-develop novel malaria treatment based on fosmidomycin

The stimulus for this project follows reports of the emergence of artemisinin resistance on the Thai-Cambodian border.

15 Feb 2011

Jomaa Pharma GmbH, a German biopharmaceutical company engaged in malaria chemotherapy, and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) a not-for-profit research foundation, announced today that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the joint development of fosmidomycin, as a component of non-artemisinin based combination therapy (NACT), for acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Fosmidomycin is a molecule that possesses antimalarial and antibacterial activity. The stimulus for this co-development project follows reports of the emergence of artemisinin resistance on the Thai-Cambodian border 1.

“A proof of concept study of fosmidomycin in combination with piperaquine is planned to take place in Thailand later this year” says Dr David Hutchinson, Managing Director of Jomaa Pharma GmbH. “This will be followed by Phase II studies in children and toddlers in sub-Saharan Africa”.  He added: “The company is also collaborating with the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) to develop NACT products based on fosmidomycin under an existing grant”.

“We are very interested in working with Jomaa Pharma and the opportunity this gives us to develop fosmidomycin as a novel antimalarial agent” says Dr Tim Wells, Chief Scientific Officer of MMV.

P. falciparum malaria is a potentially fatal disease and while artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) have revolutionised its treatment, the spread of resistance to artemisinin could pose a major threat to its effective control and ultimate elimination," Dr Nicholas White, as Chair of the Worldwide Antimalarial Resistance Network highlights this concern in his editorial in The Lancet “Artemisinin resistance – the clock is ticking” 2.

The prospect of overcoming this through fosmidomycin when combined with piperaquine is considered to be very promising and constitutes the basis of the partnership between Jomaa Pharma and MMV.

About Jomaa Pharma
Jomaa Pharma GmbH is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of fosmidomycin as a novel antimalarial. The commercial rights are owned by the company and extend to the use of fosmidomycin when administered in combination with other drugs.
Jomaa Pharma pursues the achievements of Jomaa Pharmaka GmbH which was established in 1998 by Hassan Jomaa and Ewald Beck and acquired by BioAgency AG five years later.

As a subsidiary of BioAgency, Jomaa Pharma is a privately owned limited company with offices in Hamburg, Germany and Westerham, UK.
For further information, please visit the Jomaa Pharma website.

About Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV)                    
Medicines for Malaria Venture, a not-for-profit public-private partnership, was established as a foundation in Switzerland in 1999. It is dedicated to the reduction of the malaria burden in disease-endemic countries with the discovery, development and delivery of new, effective and affordable antimalarial drugs. Our vision is a world in which these innovative medicines will cure and protect the vulnerable and under- served populations at risk of malaria, and help to ultimately eradicate this terrible disease.

MMV is currently managing the largest portfolio of antimalarial R&D projects ever assembled; almost 60 antimalarial projects in partnership with over 130 pharmaceutical, academic, and endemic-country partners in 37 countries.

In 2009, in collaboration with partners, MMV launched its first ever product – a sweet-tasting, paediatric formulation, Coartem® Dispersible. To date, almost 52 million treatments have been distributed to 33 countries, saving the lives of countless children. In 2010, another MMV-supported product, artesunate injection for the treatment of severe malaria, was approved by the WHO’s Prequalification programme. Two other artemisinin combination therapies, DHA-Piperaquine and Pyramax®, have been submitted to the EMA for regulatory approval and seven further potential medicines are in clinical development. The portfolio of discovery projects includes 19 completely new classes of compounds.


1. Dondorp AM, Nosten F, Yi P, et al. Artemisinin Resistance in Plasmodium falciparum malaria. N Engl J Med 2009;361:455-67
2. White NJ. Artemisinin resistance – the clock is ticking. The Lancet 2010;376:2051-52