Bangalore-based AstraZeneca in association with global pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline, Columbia University and Harvard Medical School has come out with a malaria drug triaminopyrimidine (TAP) to kill malaria-causing parasite ‘plasmodium falciparum‘ quickly and also answers drug-resistent types.
AstraZeneca India has carried out the research with funding from Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), a non-profit Swiss foundation and the new drug TAP is currently undergoing pre-clinical evaluation to be carried out in human clinical trials in a year’s time.
Shahul Hameed and Suresh Solapure, team leaders at the erstwhile AstraZeneca Research India and first authors of the paper and the experiment involved about 50 scientists, revealed Vasan Sambandamurthy, another lead author to Pharmabiz.
“TAPs offer the potential for single dose cure in combination with suitable partner drugs. The compound has a novel mechanism of action. It is active against multiple strains of plasmodium falciparum resistant to currently available anti-malarials in the market as well as novel anti-malarials in clinical development,” said Shahul Hameed and Suresh Solapure.
The scientists screened around 5,00,000 small molecules from the AZ collection and prioritized TAPs as promising lead series for further evaluation that zeroed in on MMV253 from TAPs series as a candidate drug with its ideal properties such as “novel chemical class, novel mechanism of action, fast kill in-vitro and in-vivo, predicted long half-life in humans and good safety margins in rats and guinea pigs,” explained Dr Sambandamurthy.
A single dose of 260 mg is enough to maintain therapeutic blood concentration for 4-5 days and given in combination with another drug, “compound 12” is predicted to cure patients in a single-dose treatment, the said.
Toxicity tests in mice for cardiovascular effects showed that the compound 12 drug has better safety levels, said the paper. Malaria killed 584,000 people across the world in 2013.