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?
With the threat of drug-resistant malaria looming large, there is a need to develop new innovative medicines to fill the gap in the malaria arsenal should it take hold. MMV is leading the search for next-generation medicines to do just that. The most promising compound is an ozonide: OZ439, which is in Phase II of clinical trials and could also provide the long-sought one-dose cure.