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Novel anti-malarial drug candidate found by UT Southwestern researchers
Date:5/25/2010

reating DNA. She discovered that three of the library's compounds with anti-malarial activity blocked this enzyme. Two of those had similar chemical structures to a class of known compounds that she and her colleagues have been studying for possible drug development. The third compound previously was not known to target the enzyme.

"It looked very different from anything we knew about before," she said.

Having a variety of anti-malarial drugs with different chemical structures and modes of action is important because different types of drugs are given together to slow the parasite from developing resistance, Dr. Phillips said.

In all, the researchers from the various centers found 172 compounds that are "reasonable starting points" for development of new types of drugs.

"We call the identified candidates 'hits,' but if any of them are going to become drugs, they're going to have to undergo chemical modification," Dr. Phillips said. "For instance, they may need to be altered chemically to enter the cell more easily, or to improve their pharmacology so they will be more effective in people."


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Contact: Aline McKenzie
aline.mckenzie@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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