Sanofi Extends Malaria R&D PactBy
Sanofi will extend its research and development (R&D) collaboration with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), a product development partnership in the field for antimalarial drug R&D, to jointly develop a single, fixed-dose combination therapy for malaria, independent of artemisinin, an active ingredient in other malaria treatments.
The collaboration, which began in May 2011 as a three-year research project, has since yielded two potential treatments: piperaquine and ferroquine. Piperaquine is currently in a Phase IIb clinical trial, and the extension of this R&D collaboration will allow Phase IIb trials for ferroquine to begin this summer.
The currently used artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) have created a growing concern in the fight against treating and containing malaria due to its resistance to malarial parasites. These new combination therapies, being developed by Sanofi and MMV, would be administered in a single-dose, compared to current treatment using ACTs, which are administered in three-day courses. The efficacy of these single-dose administrations will be evaluated and compared to ACT existing treatments, and a joint steering committee of Sanofi and MMV will determine at the end of Phase IIb if either of the two combinations meet the criteria for advancement to Phase III trials.