NIBR discovery and tools offer new prospects for prevention and treatment of malaria infections
Findings in Science report on compounds that target both liver and blood infections, attacking the Plasmodium parasite at both stages in its reproduction cycle. GNF and NITD scientists along with collaborators developed a novel assay to determine liver stage activity of candidate small molecules, then used the assay and other tools to identify and optimize a chemical scaffold with activity on both blood- and liver-stage parasites in malaria mouse models.
Profiling compounds with activity against blood-stage malaria through a novel high-content imaging assay in liver cells resulted in the identification of a new class of antimalarial drug candidates that exhibit dual blood- and liver-stage activity. Such compounds have the potential to show prophylactic activity and provide protection against the liver stage of the disease. The two microscopy image inserts illustrate the effect of the imidazolopiperazine compound GNF179 on the liver developmental stage of the Plasmodium parasite. On the left, untreated cells support unhindered growth of the parasite (red), while on the right, a clear reduction in parasites is evident after treatment with GNF179.
Credits: Ghislain MC Bonamy, PhD - Research Investigator, Genomic Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation; Katherine J Bell; CanStock Photo Inc. /Almaviva /alila /frbird
“For over a decade, Novartis has engaged in the front ranks of combating malaria, pioneering the not-for-profit supply of our antimalarial treatment Coartem® to the public sector of endemic countries,” commented Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis. “These new findings further demonstrate our innovative and sustainable research commitment in this important area which has become integral to our corporate strategy for social responsibility.”
Research at NIBR
Our global research efforts begin and end with the patient.