Novartis Expands Partnership for Malaria DrugBy
Novartis will expand its long-standing partnership with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), a product development partnership in the field of antimalarial drug research and development. Novartis will lead the development of antimalarial compound, KAF156, with scientific and financial support from MMV in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This agreement sets out the terms and conditions for the development of KAF156 and its future availability to patients.
KAF156 belongs to a class of antimalarial molecules and is one of the first antimalarial drug candidates to enter Phase IIb clinical development in more than 20 years, according to Novartis. It acts against the two parasites responsible for the majority of malaria deaths (Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax) and against both the blood and liver stages of the parasite’s lifecycle. Further, it has the potential to provide a more convenient dosing regimen and to address the multidrug resistance that has emerged in five countries of the Great Mekong Sub-region.
KAF156 builds on Novartis’ position in antimalarial drug development and the launch in 1999 of the company’s Coartem, a fixed-dose artemisinin-based combination therapy and the current standard of care in malaria treatment.