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Artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum has emerged and spread widely in the Greater Mekong Subregion threatening current first line artemisinin combination treatments. New antimalarial drugs are needed urgently. Cipargamin (KAE609) and ganaplacide (KAF156) are promising novel antimalarial compounds in advanced stages of development. Both compounds have potent asexual blood stage activities, inhibit P. falciparum gametocytogenesis and reduce oocyst development in anopheline mosquitoes. In this study, we compared the asexual and sexual stage activities of cipargamin, ganaplacide and artesunate in artemisinin resistant P. falciparum isolates (N=7, K13 mutation; C580Y, G449A and R539T) from Thailand and Cambodia. Asexual blood stage antimalarial activity was evaluated in a SYBR-green I based 72h in vitro assay, and the effects on male and female mature stage V gametocytes were assessed in the P. falciparum dual gamete formation assay. Ganaplacide had higher activities when compared to cipargamin and artesunate, with a mean (SD) IC50 against asexual stages of 5.5 (1.1) nM, 7.8 (3.9) nM for male gametocytes and 57.9 (59.6) nM for female gametocytes. Cipargamin had a similar potency against male and female gametocytes, with a mean (SD) IC50 of 123.1 (80.2) nM for male gametocytes, 88.5 (52.7) nM for female gametocytes and 2.4 (0.6) nM for asexual stages. Both cipargamin and ganaplacide showed significant transmission-blocking activities against artemisinin resistant P. falciparum in vitro.

Original publication





Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy

Publication Date



Department of Clinical Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.