Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Medicinal Chemistry
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Malaria Drug Target Raises Hopes for New Treatments

Published: Thursday, December 26, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, December 26, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Scientists identify way to stop malaria parasites from multiplying.

Scientists have taken an important step towards new malaria treatments by identifying a way to stop malaria parasites from multiplying.

In a study published in Nature Chemistry, they show that blocking the activity of an enzyme called NMT in the most common malaria parasite prevents mice from showing symptoms and extends their lifespan. The team are working to design molecules that target NMT more potently, and hope to start clinical trials of potential treatments within four years.

A recent study estimated that 1.2 million people died from malaria in 2010. Although a variety of antimalarial drugs are available, some strains of the parasite are resistant to treatment. These strains are becoming more common, with treatment failures reported across multiple frontline drugs. If acute illness is cured, the parasite can remain dormant in the blood and return to cause illness later. Malaria vaccines have been researched intensively, but none have been introduced into clinical practice.

The new study shows that NMT is involved in a wide range of essential processes in the parasite cell, including the production of proteins that enable malaria to be transmitted between humans and mosquitoes, and proteins that enable malaria to cause long-term infection.

The researchers have tested a handful of molecules that block the activity of NMT in the parasite living inside human red blood cells, and in mice, but further refinement will be needed before a treatment is ready to be tested in humans.

Dr Ed Tate, from the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College London, who led the project, said: "The drug situation for malaria is becoming very serious. Resistance is emerging fast and it's going to be a huge problem in the future.

"Finding an enzyme that can be targeted effectively in malaria can be a big challenge. Here, we've shown not only why NMT is essential for a wide range of important processes in the parasite, but also that we can design molecules that stop it from working during infection. It has so many functions that we think blocking it could be effective at preventing long-term disease and transmission, in addition to treating acute malaria. We expect it to work not just on Plasmodium falciparum, the most common malaria parasite, but the other species as well.

"We need to do some more work in the lab to find the best candidate molecule to take into clinical trials, but hopefully we'll be ready to do that within a few years."

The discovery is the culmination of a five-year project by a consortium of researchers from Imperial College London, the MRC National Institute for Medical Research, the University of Nottingham, the University of York, and Pfizer, funded by the Medical Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Protein ‘Map’ Could Lead to Potent New Cancer Drugs
Findings will help scientists to design drugs that could target NMT enzyme.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
New Drug Treatment Reduces Chronic Pain Following Shingles
New drug EMA401 reduce pain and did not cause any serious side effects.
Friday, February 07, 2014
New Drugs Hope for Dangerous Yeast Infections
Researchers from ICL have now found out yeast cells identify and attach to human tissue in order to colonize it and cause an infection.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
New Chief Financial Officer Appointed at Imperial College London
ICL announces Muir Sanderson as new Chief Financial Officer.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Scientists Find New Drug Target in Breast Cancer
Researchers have identified a new protein involved in the development of drug resistance in breast cancer which could be a target for new treatments.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Switch that Enables Salmonella to Sabotage Host Cells Revealed in new Study
A new switch that enables Salmonella bacteria to sabotage host cells is revealed in a study published in the journal Science.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Blood Clotting Finding may Lead to New Treatments
Researchers find that a key protein that causes the blood to clot is produced by blood vessels in the lungs and not just the liver.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Drug Shrinks Lung Cancer Tumors in Mice
A potential new drug for lung cancer has eliminated tumors in 50% of mice in a new study published in the journal Cancer Research.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Drug Shrinks Lung Cancer Tumours in Mice
A potential new drug for lung cancer has eliminated tumours in 50% of mice in a new study published today in the journal Cancer Research.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Urine Samples could be Used to Predict Responses to Drugs, Say Researchers
Researchers show possibility to predict how different individuals would deal with one drug by looking at metabolites in their urine.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Award for Pioneering Stem Cell Research to Mend Broken Bones
New funding could lead to the development of new and better treatments for broken bones and other orthopaedic problems.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
On-the-spot DNA Analysis to Test Tolerance to Prescription Drugs Gets Closer
A handheld device to predict whether patients will respond adversely to medication is one step closer to the market.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Chemical Signature of Manic Depression Discovered by Scientists
People with manic depression have a distinct chemical signature in their brains, according to a new study.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Targeting Gut Bugs could Revolutionize Future Drugs, say Researchers
Revolutionary new ways to tackle certain diseases could be provided by creating drugs which change the bugs in people's guts.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Scientists Capture the Speediest Ever Motion in a Molecule
The finding gives an in-depth understanding of how molecules behave in chemical processes.
Friday, March 03, 2006
Scientific News
Spero Therapeutics Announces $30 Million Series B Preferred Financing
Company has announced financing of $30 million to support development of novel therapies to treat gram-negative bacterial infections.
Keeping Tumor Growth at Bay
Engineers at Washington University in St. Louis found a way to keep a cancerous tumor from growing by using nanoparticles of the main ingredient in common antacid tablets.
Future of Medicine Could be Found in a Tiny Crystal Ball
A Drexel University materials scientist has discovered a way to grow a crystal ball in a lab. Not the kind that soothsayers use to predict the future, but a microscopic version that could be used to encapsulate medication in a way that would allow it to deliver its curative payload more effectively inside the body.
Improving Delivery of Poorly Soluble Drugs Using Nanoparticles
A technology that could forever change the delivery of drugs is undergoing evaluation by the Technology Evaluation Consortium™ (TEC). Developed by researchers at Northeastern University, the technology is capable of creating nanoparticle structures that could deliver drugs into the bloodstream orally – despite the fact that they are normally poorly soluble.
Faster Drug Discovery?
Startup develops more cost-effective test for assessing how cells respond to chemicals.
New Mechanism of Antitumor Action Identified
A team of UAB researchers and collaborators from the Catalan biotech company Ability Pharmaceuticals (UAB Research Park), have described a new mechanism of anti-tumour action, identified during the study and development of the new drug ABTL0812.
Nanoparticles Deliver Tumor Suppressors to Damaged Livers
UT Southwestern Medical Center chemists have successfully used synthetic nanoparticles to deliver tumor-suppressing therapies to diseased livers with cancer, an important hurdle scientists have been struggling to conquer.
Experimental Combination Surprises with Anti-HIV Effectiveness
A compound developed to protect the nervous system from HIV surprised researchers by augmenting the effectiveness of an investigational antiretroviral drug beyond anything expected.
A New Type of Anticancer Agent
Success in the development of a ?-tubulin specific inhibitor.
Nanoparticles Proven Effective Against Antibiotic-Resistant “Superbugs”
In the ever-escalating evolutionary battle with drug-resistant bacteria, humans may soon have a leg up thanks to adaptive, light-activated nanotherapy developed by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!