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New innovations and progress in antimalarial drug discovery

by Dr. Jeremy N. Burrows, Medicines for Malaria Venture, Switzerland

CV Raman Auditorium, IISER Pune campus

IISER Pune is happy to host a Colloquium on "New Innovations and progress in antimalarial drug discovery" by Dr. Jeremy N Burrows, Vice President, Head of Drug Discovery, Medicines for Malaria Venture, Geneva Switzerland on Thursday, March 2, 2023 at 5.00PM, Venue: CV Raman Auditorium. 

About the Speaker

Jeremy Burrows, PhD is Vice President, Head of Drug Discovery, at Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV). Since joining MMV in 2008, he has been responsible for overseeing a growing portfolio of enabling technology, screening, Hit-to-lead and Lead Optimisation projects both with academic and industrial partners. Prior to MMV, he worked at  ZENECA/AstraZeneca as a medicinal chemist working in infection, cardiovascular and inflammation research in the United Kingdom. He also led Lead Generation chemistry delivering new lead series for inflammatory diseases. In 2005 he was seconded to Sweden in CNS/Pain where he led a section focused on Alzheimer’s disease. In 2013, Dr Burrows became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He has contributed to the delivery of nine candidate drugs and has published over 80 papers, patent applications and book chapters. He is an inventor on over 35 patent applications and serves on the advisory committees for several external drug discovery collaborations and regularly reviews articles and grant proposals within the neglected disease area. He earned a master’s degree in Chemistry and Doctor of Philosophy in Synthetic Organic Chemistry at Oxford University (1989–1996).

Abstract

Falciparum malaria, a devastating parasitic disease affecting >200 million people each year, is treated using fixed dose combination treatments, the Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACTs) over 3 days of dosing. The constant threat of resistance and the need to deliver alternative options to treat patients in the event of all ACTs failing, as well as the need for improved drugs against other human-infecting Plasmodium parasites, has led to Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and its partners, in collaboration, to build up a portfolio of projects and compounds focused on the treatment and prevention of malaria.  MMV’s mission is to reduce the burden of malaria in disease-endemic countries by discovering, developing, and facilitating delivery of new, effective and affordable antimalarial drugs in collaboration with international partners. The portfolio has been strengthened in recent years by the delivery of twelve new products, most recently tafenoquine an 8-aminoquinoline giving a single dose radical cure of vivax malaria, in combination with chloroquine.  Progress has also been made in identifying the next generation of antimalarials through defining the first wave of potential new non-artemisinin combinations - though these require further clinical testing before ultimately being available to patients.  Additionally, there has been success in delivering candidate drugs into preclinical development, to a high-quality standard and fueling the Discovery pipeline, with the help of the Malaria Drug Accelerator.  This talk will cover the strategy underpinning antimalarial drug discovery, the status of the current portfolio (including the attrition and delivery) alongside a summary of new innovations to accelerate antimalarial drug discovery.