Joint Research on New Treatments for Tuberculosis and Malaria That Afflict People in Developing Countries
In 2019, 10 million incidences of tuberculosis were observed with 1.4 million deaths (figure includes 0.208 million people infected with HIV), and more than 200 million incidences of malaria were observed with 409,000 deaths. Both tuberculosis and malaria have led to serious social problems and innovative drugs to treat these diseases are eagerly desperately needed.
Astellas is pursuing collaborative research to discover new drugs for the treatment of tuberculosis and malaria, which, together with HIV, form the so-called "Big Three" infectious diseases that have ravaged developing world populations.
The research programs below are funded by the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (“GHIT Fund”). Program results are published on the GHIT Fund’s website.
Exploring TB Drugs
Astellas conducted joint research (“Screening PJ”) for the exploration of new compounds for Mycobacterium tuberculosis in collaboration with TB Alliance (Global Alliance for TB Drug Development) from October 2017. The hit compounds discovered in the Screening PJ appear to be unique in their structures compared with TB drugs in use or under development. They also appear not to share the mechanism of action with the existing TB drugs suggesting activity against drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Astellas and TB Alliance entered into a new collaborative research agreement on March 31, 2021 to identify lead compounds with improved pharmacological activity pharmacokinetics, as well as safety by utilizing multiple hit compounds obtained from the Screening PJ.
Exploration of Antimalarial Drugs
Astellas conducted a collaborative research with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) for the exploration of an antimalarial drug from October, 2017. Initial profiling of the hit compounds discovered in the Screening Collaboration appear to have novel drug-like chemotypes and mechanism of action, different from current antimalarial drugs in use or compounds in the clinical pipeline, suggesting efficacy against all known field resistance. Astellas, MMV and TCGLS entered into a new collaborative research agreement on Feb 25, 2022 to identify lead compounds with acceptable pharmacological activity, pharmacokinetics, as well as safety from optimising multiple hit compounds obtained from the Screening Collaboration.