To develop potential antimalarial therapy
Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck, and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) have signed an agreement for Merck Serono to obtain the rights to the investigational antimalarial compound DDD107498 from MMV. This agreement underscores the commitment of Merck Serono to provide antimalarials for the most vulnerable populations in need.
“This agreement strengthens our global health research programme and our ongoing collaboration with Medicines for Malaria Venture,” said Luciano Rossetti, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Research & Development at Merck Serono.
DDD107498 originated from a collaboration between MMV and the University of Dundee Drug Discovery Unit, led by Prof Ian Gilbert and Dr Kevin Read. The objective of the clinical programme is to demonstrate whether the investigational compound exerts activity on a number of malaria parasite lifecycle stages, and remains active in the body long enough to offer potential as a single-dose treatment against the most severe strains of malaria.
While development and commercialisation of the compound is under Merck Serono’s responsibility, MMV will provide expertise in the field of malaria drug development, including its clinical and delivery expertise, and provide access to its public and private sector networks in malaria-endemic countries.
Merck Serono has a dedicated Global Health R&D group working to address key unmet medical needs related to neglected diseases, such as schistosomiasis and malaria, with a focus on paediatric populations in developing countries. Its approach is based on public-private partnerships and collaborations with leading global health institutions and organisations in both developed and developing countries.
“Working with partners like Merck Serono is critical to the progress of potential antimalarial compounds, like DDD107498, through the malaria drug pipeline,” said Dr Timothy Wells, Chief Scientific Officer at MMV.