18th Call for proposals

Now closed

Drug Discovery Projects

MMV welcomes proposals in the following areas:

1. Compounds having activity against blood stages and ideally an inability to select resistant mutants in vitro

Novel chemical series with EC50<500nM and which have one or more of the following key features:

  • A known, novel mechanism of action;
  • Activity at more than one life-cycle stage;
  • A long half-life (ideally >4h in rodents) and confirmed in vivo efficacy.

For advanced series, we are seeking novel compounds with, ideally, a predicted human half-life >100h and a predicted oral single human dose <500mg

2. Compounds having activity against liver stages for use in prophylaxis

Novel chemical series with EC50<500nM and which have one or more of the following key features:

  • A known, novel mechanism of action;
  • A long half-life (ideally >4h in rodents)
  • Evidence of a good safety profile.

For advanced series, we are seeking novel compounds with, ideally, a predicted human half-life >100h and a predicted oral single human dose <500mg.  Alternatively, an i.m./s.c. dose that can be administered in <<1mL to provide at least 3 months’ protection in humans

3. Compounds addressing the key priorities of the malaria eradication agenda

Novel families of molecules in the hit-to-lead or lead optimization stages, without G6PD deficiency liabilities that either:

  • kill or reactivate hypnozoites for use as part of a P. vivax radical cure; or  
  • have activity against sexual stage V gametocytes and evidence of transmission blocking in SMFA
  • have oral endectocide activity suggesting human single monthly dose <500mgs

4. Novel approaches for screening

To identify new phenotypic and/ or target-based hits and to confirm the activity of MMV compounds on all human malaria asexual blood stages, the following new screening proposals are sought:

  • Validated Plasmodium target-based assays, ideally with evidence of target essentiality beyond asexual blood stages.  Biological validation should be supported by a biological target-based screening assay (384-well assay) suited for identification of novel chemical series.
  • Novel whole cell phenotypic screening paradigms to potentially identify new relevant chemistry with compelling biology rationale.

Please complete the Letter of Interest (LOI) template. Proposals involving a biological target should also include the target information template. See further instructions on how to complete the LOI.


Compounds for Target Identification

MMV also welcomes requests for support to investigate the mechanism of action of compounds:

MMV is a founding member of the Malaria Drug Accelerator (MalDA). MalDA, a consortium funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and led by Prof. Elizabeth Winzeler (UCSD), is working on a project to identify mechanisms of action of antimalarial compounds having phenotypic activity.  Compounds can be considered for such target identification activities provided that the following criteria are met:

  • Plasmodium whole cell EC50 <1uM and the chemical structure can be shared
  • At least 10mgs of compound can be provided to the consortium

 A one page Excel template needs to be completed to submit a compound for target ID.


Call for African Proposals

Finally, MMV welcomes proposals from endemic region African scientists focused in the following priority areas:

1. Compounds with confirmed activity on any antimalarial life-cycle stage

Novel families of molecules with confirmed activity (EC50 < 10uM) and a medicinal chemistry plan that tackles any known or anticipated liability.  Priority will be given to proposals that maximize use of local natural products.

2. Assay development and screening

Assay development and screening to support discovery or development of novel antimalarials.  Priority will be given to proposals that maximize use of local, field isolates.

3. Computer aided drug discovery

Use of computational approaches (cheminformatic and/or bioinformatic) to discover new molecules with predicted antimalarial activity or new antimalarial drug targets.

Please complete the African Letter of Interest template. Proposals involving a biological target should also include the target information template.  See further instructions on how to complete the African Letter of Interest.

Up to two African proposals of USD 20K each will be funded as part of this Call, with project start date of 1st January 2021.

All applications for any of the above must use the specified templates and should be sent electronically to proposals [at] mmv.org  by 12 noon CET March 27th, 2020.