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Merck, University of Cape Town sign research agreement

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To develop a drug discovery platform for malaria

Merck has signed a research agreement with University of Cape Town (UCT) South Africa to co-develop a new R&D platform aimed at identifying new lead programmes for potential treatments against malaria, with the potential to expand it to other tropical diseases. Combining Merck’s R&D expertise and the drug discovery capabilities of the UCT Drug Discovery and Development Centre, H3D, the collaboration will conduct drug discovery research with the goal of developing anti-malarial drug candidates using Merck’s compound library.

“This strategic collaboration shows the commitment of Merck to provide access to medicines for underserved populations, while creating a potential long-term alliance for generating new drugs to treat infectious diseases,” said Beatrice Greco, Head of Malaria and Diagnostics – Global Health R&D, within the biopharmaceutical business of Merck.

Merck has a dedicated Global Health R&D group working to address key unmet medical needs related to infectious 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.

Professor Kelly Chibale, Director of the H3D centre. “We look forward to working with the Merck team to set up a solid drug discovery platform, with an initial focus on malaria.”

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