Africa is often described as the “next frontier” in the global economy but malaria — both driven by and causing poverty — still chokes economic growth. Yet we have made advances to break that cycle in recent years. Africa is starting to play a more important role. Pharmaceutical research and development historically occurred mostly in richer countries with concentrations of infrastructure, technology, scientists and clinicians. While the difficulties are formidable in Africa, strong progress has been made recently, as illustrated by H3D.
The Centre contributes to world-class scientific output, encapsulated by its flagship compound MMV048, an anti-malaria medicine undergoing clinical testing in African patients in Ethiopia. This is the first clinical candidate to come out of Africa with the potential to be used as part of a single-dose cure. The drug is active across all stages of the parasite life cycle.
H3D has a dedicated parasitology team to perform blood-stage screening for malaria with access to other lifecycle stages through our partnerships. The malaria biology team has developed various enzymatic assays as well as an in vivo mouse model.
Electron Microscopy images of Plasmodium falciparum NF54 Schizont stage. Photo credit: Dr Jill Combrinck