Manuel Llinás of Pennsylvania State University in the U.S. will characterize the 400 candidate anti-malarial compounds in the so-called "Malaria Box" by mass spectrometry to help select those likely to be the most effective drugs for clinical development. The Malaria Box is a collection of compounds that display some anti- parasitic activity, but how they work and whether they would make valuable new anti-malarial drugs are unknown. They will analyze red blood cells infected with the malarial parasite P. falciparum to identify the metabolic pathways that are altered by each compound from the Malaria Box. In Phase I, in work while at Princeton University, they determined the metabolic profiles induced by eighty compounds, and discovered that many affected the same pathway. In Phase II, they will analyze the remaining compounds, and expand their approach to determine the metabolic effects of candidate anti-malarial drugs during different stages of parasite development, and upon infection by other parasite strains.
More information about New Approaches for the Interrogation of Anti-Malarial Compounds (Round 9)