Takeda and MMV launch new programme to find lead compounds for malaria treatment


Japanese-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and Medicines for Malaria Venture in Switzerland (MMV) have signed an agreement to start a new joint research programme aimed at finding lead compounds for malaria treatment.

Takeda and MMV initially announced a screening programme for malaria in 2013 to further advance potential hits identified in the former’s library of proprietary compounds, a process known as Hit-to-Lead research.

The screening programme and the latest agreement are both funded through the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund).

Under the agreement, both companies will evaluate the activity of multiple hits and aim to identify potential novel antimalarial leads within one year.

Takeda will provide compounds and scientific expertise, while MMV will provide scientific and malaria expertise.

"Under the agreement, both companies will evaluate the activity of multiple hits and aim to identify potential novel antimalarial leads within one year."

Takeda and MMV’s programmes that are currently active comprise research on proteasome inhibitors as new potent resistance-reversing anti-malarials (Target Research), commercial formulation development of DSM265 (Phase II), and clinical study of DSM421 (Phase I).

In a separate announcement, Takeda said it will work with the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application at Kyoto University (CiRA) and Riken to search for a drug for NGLY1 deficiency.

The genetic rare disorder NGLY1 deficiency is caused by mutations in the NGLY1 gene and is characterised by various symptoms, including developmental and motor disorders, seizure and decreased production of tears.

Takeda has also announced that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare approved its ninlaro capsules to treat patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma in Japan.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells, which are found in the bone marrow and can affect many bones in the body, possibly resulting in compression fractures, lytic bone lesions and related pain.