GENEVA--(Marketwire - December 19, 2011) - In a bid to catalyse malaria and neglected disease drug discovery, MMV and SCYNEXIS, Inc. have assembled a Malaria Box of 400 carefully selected commercially available compounds with antimalarial activity and will provide it to researchers at no cost.
All 400 compounds in the Malaria Box have confirmed activity against the blood-stage of P. falciparum -- the most deadly of the malaria parasites -- and were selected by experienced medicinal chemists from an extensive screening of around four million compounds from the chemical libraries of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline. The Malaria Box includes 200 drug-like compounds as starting points for oral drug discovery as well as 200 probe-like compounds representing the broadest cross-section of chemical diversity for use as biological tools.
"The discovery of novel molecules to feed the pipeline of antimalarial drugs remains a constant challenge," said Tim Wells, CSO of Medicines for Malaria Venture, "and all the more pressing in light of emerging resistance to current therapies. One of the rate-limiting factors for drug discovery is access to the actual active compounds with which to conduct research. With the Malaria Box concept, together with our partner SCYNEXIS, we hope to overcome this hurdle by carefully selecting and making available the most promising molecules to propel malaria drug discovery to the next level."
The scope of the Malaria Box goes beyond the malaria field as the compounds could also be used in research for drugs for other parasitic or neglected diseases. Making the compounds available to the entire neglected-disease community could lead to a better understanding of the similarities and differences between these diseases.
"SCYNEXIS is pleased to participate with MMV in the Malaria Box project as part of our on-going commitment to address the tremendous challenges presented by neglected diseases," said Yves Ribeill, President & CEO of SCYNEXIS, Inc. "SCYNEXIS stands ready to direct its proprietary technologies including its Integrated Parasitology Screening Platform and its HEOS® Collaborative Discovery Information Software Platform along with its highly experienced drug discovery teams to find innovative cures for these diseases."
The Malaria Box can be requested free-of-charge from MMV's website: www.mmv.org/malariabox. All that is asked in return is that any data gleaned from research on the Box is published, shared and placed into the public domain to continue the virtuous cycle of research.
MMV is recognized as the leading product development partnership (PDP) in the field of antimalarial drug research and development. It was established as a foundation in 1999, and registered in Switzerland.
MMV's mission is to reduce the burden of malaria in disease-endemic countries by discovering, developing and facilitating delivery of new, effective and affordable antimalarial drugs.
MMV's vision is a world in which these innovative medicines will cure and protect the vulnerable and under-served populations at risk of malaria, and help to ultimately eradicate this terrible disease.
MMV's strength comes from its product development partnership (PDP) model reflected in its network of more than 170 pharmaceutical, academic and endemic-country partners in 45 countries. MMV also works in close partnership with a number of WHO programmes that include TDR, the Global Malaria Programme (GMP) and Roll Back Malaria (RBM).
The key to MMV's success lies in the focus of its mission, and the diversity of its team of almost 50 personnel from more than 20 countries, handpicked for their expertise and commitment to global health. Governed by the values of respect, integrity, trust and excellence, MMV is recognized for its industry-style portfolio management and wise administration of funds. It manages funds received and committed from long-term donors such as government agencies, private foundations, international organizations, and corporate foundations. In addition, it receives in-kind donations in the form of staff, facilities, and technology from its industry partners, estimated to be equal in dollar value to the funds from donors.
MMV is currently managing the largest portfolio of antimalarial R&D projects ever assembled. Of over 50 promising projects, one MMV-supported artemisinin combination therapy (ACT), Pyramax®, is undergoing regulatory review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). In October 2011 dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (Eurartesim®), an ACT developed in partnership with sigma-tau, was granted regulatory approval by the EMA and, in November 2010, Guilin's artesunate injection for the treatment of severe malaria was approved by the WHO's Prequalification programme with assistance from MMV. In addition, Coartem® Dispersible, a child-friendly version of the ACT Coartem, was developed by Novartis in partnership with MMV and launched in 2009. Since then, more than 92 million courses of treatment have been supplied to 35 malaria-endemic countries.
SCYNEXIS delivers efficient and innovative drug discovery and development solutions to our global health partners. Our record of success is exemplified by the delivery of eleven pre-clinical drug candidates over the last five years including a clinical candidate (SCYX-7158) for African sleeping sickness delivered to the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi). SCYNEXIS' teams are available to take projects forward for industrial, academic, PDP and other partners to help address the challenges of global health. We are supported by an extensive network of global technical experts.
SCYNEXIS has developed a robust screening platform for the assessment of compounds against parasite species relevant to neglected tropical diseases. The platform is designed to identify compounds with potential activity in the areas of human health and public health.
Discovery teams consisting of medicinal chemistry, parasitology, computational chemistry, in vitro pharmacology, ADMET-PK/bioanalytical chemistry are available through SCYNEXIS Integrated Parasitology and tailored to our customers' needs. In addition, SCYNEXIS applies its powerful proprietary technologies such as HEOS® SaaS Discovery Information Software Platform for comprehensive drug discovery information management and the MEDCHEM-FACTORY® High-Throughput Synthesis and Purification Platform to rapidly and effectively progress drug discovery projects.
This document contains certain forward-looking statements that may be identified by words such as 'believes', 'expects', 'anticipates', 'projects', 'intends', 'should', 'seeks', 'estimates', 'future' or similar expressions, or by discussion of, among other things, vision, strategy, goals, plans, or intentions. It contains hypothetical future product target profiles, development timelines and approval/launch dates, positioning statements, claims and actions for which the relevant data may still have to be established. Stated or implied strategies and action items may be implemented only upon receipt of approvals including, but not limited to, local institutional review board approvals, local regulatory approvals, and following local laws and regulations. Thus, actual results, performances or events may differ from those expressed or implied by such statements.
We ask you not rely unduly on these statements. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and its partner(s) regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties.
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