Contract Research & Services
Clinical Trials

Novartis, MMV begin patient trial of antimalarial compound in Africa

PBR Staff Writer Published 21 August 2017

Novartis and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) have started a patient trial of antimalarial compound, KAF156, in Africa.

KAF156, which belongs to the class of the imidazolopiperazines, is a next-generation antimalarial compound that holds capability to treat drug-resistant strains of the malaria parasite.

The trial was designed to test the efficacy of KAF156 in combination with a new and improved formulation of the existing antimalarial lumefantrine.

The phase IIb study will assess multiple dosing combinations and dosing schedules of KAF156 and lumefantrine, including the feasibility of a single dose therapy in adults, adolescents and children.

KAF156’s study has been launched in Mali, and will be expanded to sixteen additional centers across nine countries in Africa and Asia in the coming months.

It is said to hold capacity to clear malaria infection, including resistant strains, in addition to blocking the transmission of the malaria parasite.

The compound is fast-acting and potent across multiple stages of the parasite's lifecycle and effectively cleared both P. falciparum and P. vivax parasites, which was demonstrated in a phase IIa proof-of-concept trial.

The phase IIb study will assess multiple dosing combinations and dosing schedules of KAF156 and lumefantrine, including the feasibility of a single dose therapy in adults, adolescents and children.

Novartis drug development global head and chief medical officer Vas Narasimhan said: “With nearly half of the world's population at risk, malaria continues to be a major public health challenge.

“Developing new antimalarial medicines is critical to achieving malaria elimination. Innovative science continues to be our best weapon against the disease."

MMV CEO Dr David Reddy said: "With the phase IIb trial of KAF156-lumefantrine now underway, the MMV-Novartis partnership is drawing closer to the exciting prospect of such a new medicine that would be a powerful tool to fight the disease."


Image: Novartis headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. Photo: courtesy of Novartis AG.