Novartis R&D for Malaria

Partnership Objectives

  • To discover and develop novel malaria compounds that target both liver stage and blood stage infections.
  • To find a solution for arising drug resistance against ACT.
  • To make developed treatments available to poor patients in developing countries without profit.

Copyright Novartis

Description of the health needs
Malaria is one of the most widespread infectious diseases, and claims the lives of almost one million people a year, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa and under the age of 5. It is the fifth leading cause of death worldwide and almost half the world’s population (3.3 billion) is at risk. Children and pregnant women are among the most vulnerable. Drug resistance to most common antimalarials is increasing.

Two major malaria-causing organisms are Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax.

Description of partnership activities
NITD and its partners are developing a one-dose cure for Plasmodium falciparum , and a curative modality for Plasmodium vivax. Two compounds resulting from these drug discovery efforts are currently in clinical trials, NITD609 (Phase IIa) and GNF156 (Phase I).

How challenges are addressed by the partnership activities
NITD is collaborating with Novartis Institute for Functional Genomics, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, and Biomedical Primate Research Centre to discover and develop new chemical entities that target both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax.

Summary of impact through December 2011 and looking forward  
In 2011 NITD has completed a first in Human trial for the anti-malarial spiroindolone (NITD 609) and all preclinical studies for a first-in-class class anti-malarial: imidazolopiperazine (GNF 156). For the next three years, NITD anticipates further progress and success with these compounds and discovery of new drug candidates from early research programs.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Novartis

Partner(s) Medicines for Malaria Venture (Switzerland), Biomedical Primate Research Centre, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (SwissTPH), Wellcome Trust, Singapore Immunology Network

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals, PDPs, NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Malaria

Disease(s) Malaria

Program Type(s) Research & Development - Pediatric R&D

Targeted Population(s) Marginalised / Indigenous People, People with low income

Region(s) East Asia & Pacific, North America

Number of Countries 2

Beneficiary Country(ies) Thailands, United States of America (for R&D programs)

Start Date 2006

Anticipated completion date 2014