. Medicines For Malaria Venture. The Internet Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2004 Volume 4 Number 2.
Today, more people are dying of malaria than a decade ago. The challenge posed by drug resistance has become one of the most important issues in malaria control. The cheapest and most widely-used drug, chloroquine, is now found to be useless in many parts of the world. In fact, resistance has been reported to all antimalarial drugs except artemisinins derivatives and artemisinin-combination therapies (ACTs). However, even these drugs, now the most effective of all antimalarial drugs, may soon see the emergence of resistant malaria strains as they become more widely and often inappropriately used.
Without innovation, the world faces a predictable and deepening crisis of staggering human dimensions with malaria related deaths rising to new heights.
MMV is currently supporting the development of 20 drug candidates including eight completely new classes of drugs. Six drugs are already in human clinical trials. This is a significant improvement from five years ago, when the pipeline of new malaria drugs was virtually empty. Research and Development (R&D) supported by industry-style portfolio and project management lies at the core of MMV's operations. MMV works with more than 40 pharmaceutical, academic and endemic country partners. Drug research and development is carried out in the labs of the academic and pharmaceutical partners. Industry partners contribute with staff, facilities and technology. As a result, MMV's funding is able to leverage in-kind contribution worth tens of millions of dollars while its technology base is extremely flexible and remains state of the art.
Continuous innovation is critical to stay a step ahead of drug resistance and create new and better prevention and treatment solutions for some 2.4 billion people at risk of this deadly disease.
MMV's goal is to develop antimalarial treatments that cost $1 or less in order to reach the poorest regions of the world.
MMV plans to develop and gain regulatory approval of at least three new combination antimalarial drugs before 2010. The first drug could be available for widespread use as early as 2008.
MMV also aims to develop drugs for targeted risk groups such as children and pregnant women.
According to a 2005 study by the London School of Economics, MMV's speed in drug development has even surpassed industry standards.
Highlights of MMV's Portfolio
A pediatric drug designed as a pill that dissolves rapidly in water for easy usage and more accurate dosage.
Next-generation ACTs designed to be given once a day for three days and expected to cost $1 or less for an adult treatment and 50 cents for a child treatment.
A wholly synthetic combination drug that can be manufactured quickly, cheaply and to scale.
MMV's ultimate goal is a one-dose cure that can cure malaria with a single tablet.
Since 1999, MMV has received $250 million in funding and pledges from 11 public and private sector donors.