Kip Guy malaria research

UK College of Pharmacy dean receives $5M for malaria research

UK College of Pharmacy Dean Dr. Kip Guy will use a $5 million award to develop an innovative drug that could provide a cure for patients with malaria and offer protection against the disease after treatment.

The additional funding comes from the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT), and Guy will work with Eisai Pharmaceuticals and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) in this ongoing research effort. This award from GHIT funds research over two years with Guy serving as the project’s principal investigator.

The innovative drug being developed by the research team is known as SJ733. This drug, in combination with one or more other antimalarial drugs, would potentially cure patients and could provide substantial protection after treatment. Malaria remains a global health problem, and growing resistance to available antimalarial drugs underscores the importance of discovering next-generation therapies.

“This award from GHIT will continue to support our research, and we’re excited about being able to take this promising drug through the next stages of development,” Guy said. “Despite being an entirely preventable and treatable disease, malaria still places 3.2 billion people at risk and is still the cause of almost half a million deaths each year. We want to see those numbers fall.”

The Phase IIa studies, undertaken in malaria patients, will set the stage for additional testing to determine appropriate combinations of malaria treatments, which will ultimately help those hit hardest by this disease, including children and pregnant women.

“We welcome GHIT’s sustained and generous support,” said Dr. Joerg Moehrle, head of Translational Medicine at MMV. “It is critical to the success of this promising research into novel antimalarial compounds. With Eisai and University of Kentucky, we have forged an excellent team fully committed to developing next-generation medicines with the ability to counter the growing threat of multidrug-resistant malaria and to save the lives of countless people at risk from this terrible disease.”

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