Navigation Links
UT Southwestern research team's anti-malarial work wins international Project of the Year award
Date:6/6/2011

DALLAS June 7, 2011 The discovery of a potential new anti-malarial drug by a UT Southwestern Medical Center-led research team has been awarded Project of the Year by Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV).

The team's research, which began in 2002 under the direction of Dr. Margaret Phillips, identified a promising inhibitor of a specific enzyme that the malaria parasite requires for survival. The lead compound, uncovered during high-throughput tests at the UT Southwestern core screening laboratory and now in preclinical trials, could be ready for human studies next year.

"The problem is staying ahead of the parasite's continuing ability to develop drug resistance. If we don't discover new drugs, the parasite is going to win," said Dr. Phillips, professor of pharmacology at UT Southwestern and project leader for the drug development team that includes researchers from the University of Washington, Seattle; Monash University in Melbourne, Australia; and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.

Each year, malaria kills 1 million to 2 million people, most of them women and children. The mosquito-transmitted disease is prevalent in Africa, South America and Asia, but virtually nonexistent in the U.S. No vaccine prevents malaria, although drugs are available to treat the infectious disease.

"If this drug succeeds, it could very well revolutionize the way malaria is treated," said Dr. David Mangelsdorf, chairman of pharmacology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at UT Southwestern.

Of 26 projects that span the drug development pipeline from early-phase discovery work to compounds in clinical development, MMV chose the work of Dr. Phillips' team for Project of the Year based on its progress toward discovering a new anti-malarial drug.

MMV is a not-for-profit public/private partnership based in Geneva whose mission is to develop and bring affordable anti-malarial drugs to market. Researchers submit proposals to the organization and, if the investigative plan is accepted, their team receives funding and scientific advisory support.

"The project led by Meg Phillips quickly became a firm favorite for MMV's Project of the Year 2010," said Tim Wells, chief scientific officer for MMV. "It was impressive not only for its progress in bringing inhibitors forward for clinical testing but also for the way in which the independent international team worked together."

So far, the lead compound has been shown to kill the malaria parasite in mouse models. Further tests to demonstrate safety are needed before the compound could be developed into a drug for clinical trials, Dr. Phillips said. Besides support from MMV, a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health is funding this research.

"We were trying to find a compound that would bind the parasite enzyme selectively and stop its function without inhibiting the human enzyme. Therefore, the parasites can't make key building blocks for DNA and RNA biosynthesis and they die," said Dr. Phillips.

Dr. Phillips and three other team members received their awards at MMV's annual board and stakeholders meeting in Tanzania. United Republic of Tanzania President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete presented the awards. MMV holds its meeting each year in an area affected by malaria.

Having done graduate work on African sleeping sickness, another parasitic disease, Dr. Phillips was drawn to research on malaria drug development soon after joining the UT Southwestern faculty in 1992. Although the odds of discovering an approved anti-malarial drug are slim only about one in 10 compounds at this stage of development make it to market Dr. Phillips said the potential to make a life-saving drug discovery is worth it.

"This is about as cool as it gets. If you are able to actually do research, help people and have an impact, that is just fantastic," Dr Phillips said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Debbie Bolles
debbie.bolles@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Drug can reverse overgrown hearts to help prevent heart failure, UT Southwestern researchers find
2. UT Southwesterns Luis Parada elected to National Academy of Sciences
3. Antidepressants may not improve all symptoms of depression, UT Southwestern researchers find
4. Limiting carbs, not calories, reduces liver fat faster, UT Southwestern researchers find
5. Pelvic-repair device developed by UT Southwestern surgeons enables minimally invasive trauma surgery
6. UT Southwestern pediatricians launch landmark childrens health study
7. Grant helps UT Southwestern researcher study causes of preterm birth
8. Dangerous blood pressure increases during exercise can be blocked, UT Southwestern researchers find
9. UT Southwestern research advances fight against kidney cancer
10. Annual sonograms are needed to verify correct IUD position, UT Southwestern obstetricians say
11. UT Southwestern receives $36.7 million for cancer research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, actor Rob ... sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational ... and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United States and ... of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, have six ... years in the Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator and carrier ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors and ... flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January of ... Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve both ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will present the 2017 Morris ... of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual Symposium is taking ... in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is presented to an individual ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa Mohebi, the ... medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal section, featuring ... transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , Dr. Mohebi ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/5/2017)... Ill. , Oct. 5, 2017  In ... Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) released ... opioids – to be used as a first-line ... pain. Recognizing ... the AAOMS White Paper "Opioid Prescribing: Acute and ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... Mass. , Oct. 4, 2017 ... of single-use, self-contained, illuminating medical devices, today announced ... National Health Surveillance Agency (or Agência Nacional de ... The first single-use, cordless surgical retractor with integrated ... provides optimal access, illumination and exposure of a ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, the ... by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics LLC ... brand, which included the unveiling of new signage at ... as well as at a few other company-owned facilities ... brand to patients, some of whom will begin to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: