Cross-Continent Partnership Aims to Advance Next-Generation Antimalarial Drug

Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

EDCTP has granted EUR10 million to a collaboration of African and European antimalarial drug researchers to support late-stage clinical trials of a novel antimalarial combination.

The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) has granted EUR 10 million, which will be distributed over a five-year period, to a collaboration of African and European antimalarial drug researchers to support late-stage clinical trials of a novel antimalarial combination, which includes KAF156 (ganaplacide).

Based in both Africa and Europe, the West African Network for Clinical Trials of Antimalarial Drugs (WANECAM) consortium comprises 10 academic organizations and will lead the collaborative efforts. Working with WANECAM will be the not-for-profit organization Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and the pharmaceutical company Novartis. 

The aim of the work will be to develop Novartis’ compound KAF156, which has demonstrated a potential to treat resistant malaria, in combination with lumefantrine as a once-daily antimalarial formulation. Additionally, the grant funds are expected to strengthen research capabilities in the four participating countries located in West and Central Africa-Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mali, and Niger.

“We welcome the generous support from EDCTP and are grateful for their long-term commitment to clinical development in Africa-and specifically supporting clinical research in critical diseases such as malaria,” said principal investigator, Abdoulaye Djimdé of the L'Université des Sciences, des Techniques et des Technologies de Bamako and coordinator of the WANECAM group. “This backing is vital to accelerate the development of this much-needed new compound. African collaboration with a group of international experts on this program can help ensure the trials are completed rapidly and to the highest quality standards. With reports about parasite resistance to artemisinins and ACTs, it is essential that we have new antimalarials ready and waiting.”

Michael Makanga, EDCTP executive director, added, “We are delighted to broaden the coalition of organizations that EDCTP funds and partners to deliver our malaria strategy. By involving the private sector and a not-for-profit product development partnership, we have broadened our network of expertise. With all sectors working together, we can build stronger partnerships to defeat malaria.”

Source: Novartis