Merck & Co. licensed an early-stage malaria drug candidate to Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV). The agreement allows MMV to develop and use the treatment in the developing world.
Merck retains the option to become MMV's development partner upon completion of the first Phase II trial. As per the terms of the transaction, Merck will not profit from the drug’s use in developing countries or receive royalties.
Preclinical safety and efficacy evaluation of the antimalarial drug candidate has been completed, and it is ready to enter clinical studies. It is an orally available compound, which could potentially provide a daily or twice-daily curative dosing regimen, according to MMV. In preclinical studies, it has shown to be effective against P. falciparum including multidrug resistant strains.