Artefenomel, a novel trioxolane, is a front-runner candidate for inclusion in a new antimalarial combination with ferroquine. The combination is being specifically formulated for children and to allow for once-daily dosing. However, achieving an equivalent efficacy and safety profile in fewer doses than current 3-day ACT regimens is a major challenge. In partnership with Sanofi, MMV is aiming to overcome that challenge. The combination is currently in a phase IIb trial, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Artefenomel, a novel trioxolane, is a lead candidate for inclusion in a new antimalarial combination with a simpler dosing regimen, specifically formulated for children. Achieving an equivalent efficacy and safety profile in fewer doses than current 3-day ACT regimens is a major challenge. In partnership with Sanofi, MMV is aiming to overcome that challenge and is conducting a phase IIb trial of artefenomel in combination with ferroquine.
Artefenomel Project Leader at MMV, Dr Marc Adamy describes the potential of this compound, its current status and future plans.
Published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, the results of the first trial of OZ439 in healthy human volunteers demonstrate it to be well tolerated in doses up to 1600 mg. The concentration of drug achieved in the blood with these doses should be sufficient to kill malaria parasites for up to 96 hours – considerably longer than that of currently available artemisinin-based antimalarials. These data therefore support the potential of OZ439 as a one-dose cure.
While ACTs are available and access to them is improving, MMV cannot rest on its laurels, but must continue to innovate and develop better medicines for uncomplicated malaria. There is a real need for medicines that are simpler and easier to take, such as a single-dose cure. Not only would such a medicine facilitate ‘directly observed therapy’, which would help to prevent the emergence of drug resistance, it would also reduce the cost of treatment.
8 February 2011, Geneva. A novel synthetic peroxide antimalarial drug candidate, OZ439 has successfully completed Phase 1 clinical trials where it was shown to be safe. It has progressed to trials in malaria patients. The secrets of OZ439’s success have been published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Ozonide OZ439 is a synthetic peroxide antimalarial drug candidate designed to provide a single-dose oral cure in humans. OZ439 has successfully completed Phase I clinical trials, where it was shown to be safe at doses up to 1,600 mg and is currently undergoing Phase IIa trials in malaria patients. Herein, we describe the discovery of OZ439 and the exceptional antimalarial and pharmacokinetic properties that led to its selection as a clinical drug development candidate.
The synthetic endoperoxide project was the very first discovery project taken into MMV’s portfolio back in 2000. Today, OZ439, one of the key molecules to emerge, and one of the next generation antimalarials, is on track to potentially replace artemisinin and become a part of the much-needed one-dose cure for malaria.
OZ439 is a fully synthetic peroxide on track to provide not only a single-dose cure for malaria, but also a potential alternative to currently used artemisinin derivatives. Its structure includes a peroxide bond, which is believed to be the artemisinins’ key weapon against malaria. Nonetheless, OZ439 is structurally very different from the artemisinins, making it likely to remain effective against artemisinin-resistant strains.
1. Why are we striving for a one-dose cure for malaria?