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Penn team mimicking a natural defense against malaria to develop new treatments
Date:12/27/2012

is that studies show that pathogens have a difficult time generating resistance to them, because they attack membranes, not proteins. So they might be intrinsically more difficult to become resistant against."

Although Greenbaum's team focused mostly on the chronic red-blood-cell stage of malaria, their HDP-mimic also shows promise against other stages of the disease. "We think that the mimics would be useful as a transmission-blocking therapeutic," Greenbaum says. "In other words, you prevent transmission from human to mosquito and therefore back to human again. We have positive data for those two stages. It's becoming increasingly more important in antimalarial drug development that people think more and more about multistage inhibition."

The next step for Greenbaum's team is to further hone the selectivity and potency of the smHDP compounds, while developing them into drugs that can be orally administered. As Greenbaum explains, practical antimalarials need to be "taken as pills rather than having to be used intravenously, which is not going to be appropriate for treatment in endemic countries, especially in more rural environments."


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Contact: Karen Kreeger
karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5658
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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