USC Clinical Trials will partner with Geneva-based Medicines for Malaria Venture and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane to test the activity of an antimalarial drug in humans who are infected with malaria.
While malaria is not prevalent in Australia, it is endemic to African, Southeast Asian, Western Pacific and East Mediterranean regions, with an estimated 229 million cases worldwide (World Health Organisation, 2021).
It is anticipated that the information obtained from this study will help to develop new antimalarial treatments containing pyronaridine in combination with other drugs.
This may help to treat malaria more effectively in regions around the world where malaria parasites are becoming resistant to the antimalarial drugs currently in use.
Principal investigator Dr Bridget Barber will lead the phase 1 clinical trial in which participants will be confined for five days and four nights under the care of the expert clinical trials team at the USC Clinical Trials Moreton Bay clinic.
Participants will then be asked to attend approximately 24 in-clinic, follow-up visits at the USC Clinical Trials clinic in Brisbane.
Dr Barber said antimalarial drug resistance is a major problem world-wide, and new treatment strategies for malaria were needed urgently.
“Pyronaridine in an antimalarial drug that is highly effective against resistant malaria parasites, but like all antimalarial drugs, to be most effective it will need to be combined with other antimalarial drugs,” she said.
“This study will provide valuable information about the doses of pyronaridine required to kill the malaria parasite and will help determine which other antimalarial drugs are best suited to partner with pyronaridine in a new antimalarial combination treatment."
USC Clinical Trials director Lucas Litewka said it was exciting to be partnering with Medicines for Malaria Venture and QIMR on this important study to address a persistent global health challenge.
“We saw an enthusiastic response from participants in our last two malaria studies and again we would like to put a call out to healthy volunteers in our community to assist us in this important research,” he said.
Participants must be aged between 18 and 55 years and in generally good health. There will be additional screening criteria discussed over the phone with research coordinators. Eligible participants will receive approximately $6,225 for completing the entire study.
For further information or to register interest visit www.usc.edu.au/trials.
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