Novartis Reports "Potential Game Changer" in Fight Against Malaria

August 4, 2014
The Pharm Exec staff

Pharmaceutical Executive

Novartis reports that its KAE609 is the first antimalarial drug candidate with a novel mechanism of action to achieve positive clinical proof-of-concept in over 20 years.

Novartis reports that its KAE609 is the first antimalarial drug candidate with a novel mechanism of action to achieve positive clinical proof-of-concept in over 20 years.

Clinical trial results published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that KAE609 (cipargamin) cleared the malaria-causing parasite rapidly in Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) and Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax) uncomplicated malaria patients. In June 2012, 21 patients infected by one of the two main parasite types took part in a clinical study conducted in Bangkok and Mae Sot near the Thailand/Burma border. Researchers saw rapid parasite clearance in adult patients with uncomplicated P. vivax or P. falciparum malaria infection including those with resistant parasites. No safety concerns were identified, however the study was too small for any safety conclusions.

Novartis currently has two drug candidates in development, KAE609 and KAF156. Both are new classes of anti-malarial compounds that treat malaria in different ways from current therapies. Novartis has also identified PI4K as a new drug target with potential to prevent, block and treat malaria.

“KAE609 is a potential game-changing therapy in the fight against malaria,” said Thierry Diagana, Head of the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD).

www.malaria.novartis.com

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