GSK - MMV Partnership

Partnership Objective

Development of new treatments for malaria.

GSK's malaria compound set is part of the ‘malaria box set’ that Medicines for Malaria Venture has been sent to more than 160 groups around the world. GSK's malaria compound set is part of the ‘malaria box set’ that Medicines for Malaria Venture has been sent to more than 160 groups around the world. Copyright GSK

What are the health needs and challenges?

Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease transmitted by mosquitoes. It kills more than 1 million people each year, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria is the leading cause of death in children under five.

Because malaria is a global emergency that affects mostly poor women and children, the disease perpetuates a vicious cycle of poverty in the developing world. Malaria-related illnesses and mortality cost Africa’s economy alone USD 12 billion per year.

Today, malaria can be prevented, diagnosed and treated with a combination of available tools, but it takes global commitment. Estimates indicate that USD 4.2 billion is needed each year to fund the fight against malaria effectively.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

GlaxoSmithKline has created a dedicated R&D group to focus on diseases of the developing world (DDW), specifically malaria and TB, with a DDW drug discovery center at its Tres Cantos R&D site in Spain and clinical development experts in the UK and US. DDW projects are prioritized by their social and public health benefits rather than commercial return.

GSK's malaria lead treatment project is for Tafenoquine, a potential treatment for the radical cure of Plasmodium vivax malaria, the most frequent and widely distributed cause of relapsing malaria. This affects millions of people each year mainly in South East Asia and Latin America. Tafenoquine, which is being developed in partnership with the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), is planned  to start phase III development in 2014. An initial study to understand tafenoquine and G6PD deficiency (a common gene deficiency in areas where malaria is prevalent and which can affect the choice of malaria treatment) has been completed.

GSK also has a number of other projects for anti-malarials in the lead optimization and target identification and validations stages of the R&D process.

In 2010 GSK published research findings that could help identify potential new treatments for malaria. The research was the result of a year-long screening process in which five GSK scientists reviewed more than two million compounds in GSK’s chemical library to seek out those that could inhibit the malaria parasite. This process identified 13,533 compounds that showed greatest activity. More than 80% of these molecules are proprietary to GSK, and it is the first time they have been made available to the wider research community.

GSK's malaria compound set is part of the ‘malaria box set’ that Medicines for Malaria Venture has been sent to more than 160 groups around the world. GSK aims to identify other datasets and make them publicly available to act as a catalyst to stimulate further research in diseases of the developing world.

By working with PPPs such as MMV, GSK shares the costs and risks of R&D. GSK works closely with MMV, which subsidizes 25 scientists at Tres Cantos. GSK provides the clinical, regulatory and manufacturing expertise to advance compounds in clinical development.


Fighting Malaria on All Fronts

Partnership information

Company(ies) GlaxoSmithKline

Partner(s) Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals, PDPs

Therapeutic Focus Infectious Diseases

Disease(s) Malaria

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Technology Transfer - Scientific Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing, Research & Development - Development of Treatments, Research & Development - Pediatric R&D

Targeted Population(s) Children, Elderly, Marginalised / Indigenous People, Men, Mothers, Patients in needs of treatment, People with low income, Women, Youth

Region(s) Latin America & Caribbean, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 89

Country(ies) Afghanistan, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tanzania, The Gambia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Research Country(ies) Spain, United Kingdom

Start Date 2001

More information GSK Health for All

Anticipated completion date Ongoing