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International malaria research consortium tackles deadly disease
Date:10/26/2010

Network and University of Toronto.

In a field that has seen very few new drugs introduced in the past 30 years, and where most of these drugs have lost effectiveness due to the emergence of drug resistant malaria strains, this program endeavors to develop entirely new classes of drugs, and furthermore will seek to develop drugs that, by their design, will hinder the emergence of drug resistance.

With funding from International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada Inc. (ISTP Canada) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of the Government of India, these new therapies will be developed and refined. Led by the site directors of each partner, Lakshmi Kotra at University Health Network/University of Toronto (Consortium lead in Canada), David Bell at Therapure Biopharma, Jitendra Verma at Lifecare Innovations, Asif Mohammed at the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (Consortium lead in India), and R. Mahesh at Birla Institute of Technology and Science, this program brings together a dynamic and talented groups of world-class scientists for a common cause of advancing basic research discoveries to preclinical development.

Current projects include the development of drugs against three malaria targets that the academic groups have researched extensively. This research is combined with the state-of-the-art tools and expertise in computer modeling, medicinal chemistry and drug delivery to advance potential drugs to the point where human studies can begin. The consortium is making excellent progress and is open to additional partners with the same vision.

One example of this technology combination process is embodied in an objective to treat a form of malaria that resides in the liver. This form of the disease can re-emerge months or years after the initial infection to cause new illnesses in that individual. Additionally this form of the disease can re-introduce malaria into local populations where it
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Contact: Dr. Lakshmi P. Kotra
lkotra@uhnres.utoronto.ca
416-581-7601
University Health Network
Source:Eurekalert

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