MMV’s Project of the Year 2021 is awarded to a discovery team led by Dr Laura Sanz at GSK and Dr Stephen Brand at MMV, for the discovery of GSK4024484 (GSK484), a compound with potential for treatment of patients with uncomplicated malaria.
MMV’s independent Expert Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC) recommended GSK484 for this award owing to its high quality, including its fast and potent antimalarial activity against drug sensitive and resistant strains and ‘irresistibility’ i.e., no detectable resistance selection in vitro1, which makes it a potentially important public health tool as part of a future combination to drive the treatment, control and eradication of malaria. New antimalarial therapeutics are needed to ensure that malaria cases can continue to be treated effectively, as emerging parasite resistance to frontline chemotherapies threatens control programmes in Africa2. GSK484, is a novel chemotype which exhibits rapid parasite clearance in vitro and in vivo3, and is predicted to have a low dose, when used clinically. This exciting molecule represents a novel structural series, with a mechanism of resistance different to current antimalarials in clinical use and no cross resistance with any compound in the MMV portfolio.
Dr Laura Maria Sanz-Alonso, Malaria Portfolio Leader, GSK fellow, and Dr Stephen Brand, Associate Director, Drug Discovery (MMV) discuss the antimalarial preclinical candidate project in this interview.
1. A laboratory process that is not conducted in a living organism.
2. Evidence of Artemisinin-Resistant Malaria in Africa: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2101746
3. Studies in which the effects of various biological entities are tested on whole, living organisms or cells, usually animals, including humans, and plants, as opposed to a tissue extract or dead organism.