Over the last 15 years, the majority of malaria drug discovery and development efforts have focused on new molecules and regimens to treat patients with uncomplicated or severe disease. In addition, a number of new molecular scaffolds have been discovered which block the replication of the parasite in the liver, offering the possibility of new tools for oral prophylaxis or chemoprotection, potentially with once-weekly dosing. However, an intervention which requires less frequent administration than this would be a key tool for the control and elimination of malaria. Recent progress in HIV drug discovery has shown that small molecules can be formulated for injections as native molecules or pro-drugs which provide protection for at least 2 months. Advances in antibody engineering offer an alternative approach whereby a single injection could potentially provide protection for several months. Building on earlier profiles for uncomplicated and severe malaria, a target product profile is proposed here for an injectable medicine providing long-term protection from this disease. As with all of such profiles, factors such as efficacy, cost, safety and tolerability are key, but with the changing disease landscape in Africa, new clinical and regulatory approaches are required to develop prophylactic/chemoprotective medicines. An overall framework for these approaches is suggested here.
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