MMV and Zydus join forces to develop new antimalarial

MMV253 is novel and fast acting – important characteristics of next-generation antimalarials

27 Sep 2016

MMV and Zydus Cadila, a research-driven, global healthcare provider headquartered in Ahmedabad, India, have announced a collaboration to develop the investigational antimalarial compound MMV253.

The aim of the collaboration is to provide an effective alternative to the current front-line antimalarial drugs for the treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria, artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), which are under threat of resistance.

MMV253 was discovered by MMV and AstraZeneca, India. Moving forward, Zydus will lead development of the novel compound, and MMV will provide support, including scientific expertise and access to tools in the field of malaria drug development and delivery.

“Malaria is a major global health risk and its menace has only worsened with the problem of artemisinin-resistance. By collaborating with Medicines for Malaria Venture in this initiative, we hope to usher in a step change in the treatment of this deadly disease,” said Pankaj R. Patel, Chairman and Managing Director, Zydus. “This molecule has a novel mechanism of action, rapidly kills parasites across all intra-erythrocytic stages and has a long half-life, which means it might even lead to a single-dose cure for P. falciparum malaria."

“MMV is delighted that the Zydus team has taken up the challenge of developing MMV253,” said Dr. Timothy Wells, Chief Scientific Officer at MMV. “We discovered this promising candidate in collaboration with AstraZeneca, India, and look forward to co-developing the compound with Zydus. Given the imminent threat of resistance, this novel compound, which kills parasites rapidly with a novel mechanism of action, could be one of the critical alternatives to current therapies the world urgently needs if we are to ultimately defeat malaria.”