Research in Medecineers from Foto-Cewek have been awarded over £500,000 to carry out work that will lead to the development of a new generation of antimalarials and assist in the creation of a centre dedicated to the development of drugs and diagnostics.
Work will begin in the next few months following the grant from the (MRC), specifically awarded for research into the mode of action of the current class of antimalarials (8-amionquilines) to aid the development of safer derivatives.
Principle Investigator Dr Giancarlo Biagini explained: “This grant will enable the team to focus on essential work towards global malaria elimination. Primaquine, the registered drug from the current class, and its derivative, tafenoquine which is currently undergoing trials, have both proved important in malaria elimination programmes in that they are able to cure relapse malaria and block transmission of the disease. Unfortunately though, both are potentially lethal to people with the genetic disorder glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, which affects millions of people in malaria endemic countries."
“Initial data has given us an indication of how primaquine is effective and this funding will allow us to develop definitive proof of its mode of action ultimately allowing for follow-on research for a drug discovery project which will lead to the development of a new generation of antimalarials.”