To identify molecules that meet the Target Candidate Profiles (TCPs) for next-generation medicines to support malaria eradication, MMV’s drug discovery team works with partners to screen compounds for activity against the various stages of the parasite lifecycle.
To complement existing blood-stage assays, (which identify compounds to alleviate the symptoms of malaria), MMV and partners have developed new assays to screen for activity at other lifecycle stages. Notably, in 2014 and 2015, high-throughput assays of liver stages (to test for chemoprotection capability) and gametocyte stages (to test for transmission-blocking capability) as well as assays of Plasmodium vivax liver stages (to test for anti-relapse activity) were established.
Active compounds that meet the required criteria are then progressed to the ‘make–test’ cycle. Here they undergo rounds of synthesis and testing to determine whether they could become a drug candidate, suitable for further development.
Since 2010, 17 drug candidates have been brought into preclinical development. Each one of these active candidates has the potential to form part of a nextgeneration medicine to support malaria eradication.