Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd. announced that it has signed an agreement with Medicines for Malaria Venture (Geneva, Switzerland; “MMV”) on joint research aimed at identifying antimalarial candidate compounds (“Joint Research”).
The Joint Research has its origins in the “Compound Screening Program for Malaria” (“Program”), which Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma and MMV have been jointly conducting since 2015. Using compounds (hit compounds) discovered from Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma’s compound library, the Joint Research aims to identify candidate compounds for antimalarials (lead compounds).
Both the Joint Research and the Program have been awarded funding from the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund).
Malaria is a parasitic disease most commonly transmitted by mosquitoes carrying Plasmodium parasites. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the year 2016 saw over 200 million cases of malaria in 91 countries and regions mostly on the African continent, and the disease is estimated to have caused approximately 450,000 deaths, many of which were children aged five or younger*. With the onset of Plasmodium parasites that are resistant to existing therapies, innovative new drugs are eagerly anticipated to put a stop to this epidemic.
Under the framework of the Joint Research, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma and MMV will commence detailed activity evaluation of multiple antimalarial candidate compounds with the aim of identifying those with properties that may lead to the development of new antimalarials within twelve months. MMV will utilize its expert knowledge and experience in the fight against malaria to promote research, while Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma will map out a drug discovery strategy from a scientific perspective based on its expertise and provide advice to MMV.
Through the Joint Research with MMV, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma aims to explore the possibility of utilizing its innovative drug discovery technology to fight malaria, a disease with high unmet medical needs, and thus improve access to medicine
About Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV)
MMV is a leading product development partnership (PDP) in the field of antimalarial research and development. Its mission is to contribute to treatment and prevention of malaria among vulnerable people in disease-endemic countries by discovering, developing, and delivering new, effective, and affordable antimalarial drugs. MMV manages one of the world’s largest portfolios of antimalarial R&D and access projects.
About GHIT Fund
The GHIT Fund launched in 2013 to leverage Japanese expertise and capacity for life-saving health innovations, including drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics, to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) prevalent in the developing world. The GHIT Fund is the first international public-private partnership of its kind for global health research and development, between the Japanese Government: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, private companies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and United Nations Development Programme.