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Novartis and collaborators discover novel antimalarial drug candidate
Date:9/2/2010

favorable, the compound could progress to Phase I human trials.

A novel mechanism of action

Despite significant advances in Plasmodium genome biology, the identification and validation of new drug targets has proven challenging. In the Science paper the research team outlines how they identified a potential target by identifying mutations that decreased the parasite's sensitivity to this novel compound class.

"Using a novel Plasmodium whole-cell assay we were able to tap into the Novartis archive of 12,000 pure natural products and synthetic compounds to identify 275 compounds highly active against P. falciparum, the most prevalent and deadly form of malaria," said Novartis Institute for Tropical Disease's Bryan Yeung, project team head. "From this set all but 17 compounds were discarded for failing to meet pharmacological and efficacy standards. Of the remaining compound class, spirotetrahydro-beta-carbolines or spiroindolones have favorable physical and chemical properties for drug development as well as a mechanism of action distinct from the currently used therapies based on aminoquinolines and artemisinin derivatives."

Combating malaria- a sustainable commitment

As of June 2010, Novartis has delivered over 340 million of its antimalarial treatments without profit, to more than 60 malaria-endemic countries for public sector use, making Novartis the leading pharmaceutical partner in the fight against malaria. But Novartis does more than providing effective treatment. Since the beginning of its Malaria Initiatives program Novartis has pioneered access to medicines in the developing world through an innovative not-for-profit distribution concept, coordination of best practice sharing workshops, development of new formulations and capacity building. The program proves that increasing access is not just a matter of buying drugs and distributing them, it is about incorporating training, logistics management and other
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Contact: Mariellen Gallagher
mariellen.gallagher@novartis.com
001-617-871-7665
Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
Source:Eurekalert

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