CHDR and LUMC present results of controlled malaria infection study with anti-malaria drug M5717 at the ASTMH 2021 Annual Meeting

In collaboration with the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), CHDR investigated the prophylactic activity of Merck’s new anti-malaria compound M5717 in a controlled malaria infection model in healthy volunteers. This Friday 19 November, Johan van der Plas, Research Physician at CHDR, will be presenting the results of this trial at the ‘Malaria: Drug Treatment, Resistance and Clinical Trials’ session of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene 2021 Annual Meeting (virtual edition).

Over the past years, Dr Ingrid de Visser, Associate Director at CHDR, and Prof. Meta Roestenberg, Professor in Vaccinology at LUMC and Clinical Head of the Leiden Controlled Human Infection Center (L-CHIC), have been collaborating on setting up safe ways to study infectious diseases in healthy volunteers. Previously, Roestenberg had already developed an approach whereby malaria infection could be studied by infecting healthy volunteers in a controlled manner. About two years ago, Roestenberg was approached by Merck, who wanted to test a new anti-malaria compound named M5717. As well as using the malaria infection model to study the compound’s prophylactic activity against malaria, Merck also wanted to further investigate the pharmacokinetics in infected volunteers. In order to optimally execute this research, LUMC and CHDR set up a joint clinical study: eligible volunteers were recruited by CHDR and the controlled human malaria infection was performed at the LUMC under supervision of Roestenberg. Subsequently, subjects were administered the study drug at CHDR’s Clinical Unit and monitored during a sampling-intensive in-house period. Following discharge, subjects had frequent ambulatory follow-up visits at the LUMC to investigate whether they were protected against malaria and to ensure volunteer safety.
Van der Plas: “This study exemplifies the synergistic collaboration between CHDR and L-CHIC: CHDR is specialised in innovative early-stage clinical drug research and L-CHIC has extensive experience with controlled human infection models. When combined, this results in a solid platform for early proof-of-concept clinical studies!”

We look forward to presenting the results of this study at this Annual Meeting for tropical diseases, that draws thousands of professionals from different fields. Join Johan for his presentation “The Plasmodium falciparum elongation Factor 2 Inhibitor M5717 is efficacious against malaria liver stage: a controlled liver-stage malaria infection study in healthy subjects” today (19:45 CET).