Today, in antimalarial drug development, we are at a juncture that offers many challenges and opportunities. Owing to the threat of resistance, MMV is aligned with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation to develop combination therapies to treat malaria, so that one compound in the combination can kill any remaining parasites if resistance to the other compound is generated.
Today, we have 14 compounds in preclinical and clinical development (9 with entirely novel mechanisms of action compared with compounds used in ACTs). Given the number of possible combinations this provides, a significant amount of data must be sifted through in order to select the best. Ideal combinations should have matched pharmacokinetics (duration of activity in the body), different molecular targets and different paths of resistance. They must not interact in a negative way, for example, by increasing each other’s metabolism or showing additivity in safety signals, but ideally show additivity in their pharmacological activity.
Read an interview with MMV's Nicole Andenmatten to learn more about how new tools are being employed to determine which drug combinations should progress further.
Updated July 2018