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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has approved a three-year grant that will lead to an expansion of the pharmacometric research group within MORU’s Department of Clinical Pharmacology.

Group photo of the Pharmacology team, with Joel Tarning

Head of Pharmacology Joel Tarning will be principal investigator for the grant, Model-based drug development platforms for antimalarials, which will be based at MORU in Bangkok, Thailand.

Malaria is still the most important parasitic disease of humans, killing almost 2,000 people each day, mainly young children under the age of five in tropical areas. The increasing prevalence of artemisinin-resistant falciparum malaria in Southeast Asia is now threatening our ability to control and eliminate malaria in the region and elsewhere and jeopardizing aspirations to eliminate malaria. ACT partner drug resistance is following so there is an urgent need now for novel, safe and effective antimalarial combination treatments with different mechanism of actions. However, drug development is slow and costly and in need of optimization to accelerate the delivery of novel antimalarial drugs and combinations in the market.

The overall goal of the proposed research, which will be done at MORU Pharmacology, is to develop a novel model-based platform for antimalarial drug development and optimize the use of existing antimalarial drugs. This could accelerate the development of new antimalarial drugs substantially, reduce costs and de-risk the process of bringing new antimalarial drug combinations to clinical care.

For more information, kindly contact John Bleho

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