Novel use of senicapoc to treat or prevent malaria
Inventors: Venee Tubman
Invention Types: Therapeutics
Research Areas: Infectious Disease
Keywords: New Indication/Use, Small Molecule/Drug, TargetFor More Information Contact: Meyer, Abbie
Malaria, which causes about half a million deaths and infects 198 million people annually, is difficult to control and prevent, and is a growing threat world-wide. Mono-therapy can lead to drug resistance to known anti-malarial agents. There is a need for novel antimalarial drugs with new targets.
Dr. Tubman and colleagues have conceived of a novel use for senicapoc, a Gardos-channel (calcium-activated potassium channel) inhibitor developed for sickle cell disease which as now been repurposed for development into an antimalarial agent. Red cell volume regulation is critical to the pathology of the parasites that cause malaria since plasmodium depends upon ion flow across the host membrane for growth. Cellular volume regulation also modulates the host defense against malaria infection and parasite growth is impaired in dense, dehydrated erythrocytes. Senicapoc and similar compounds may function as antimalarial agent by preventing parasite growth since they inhibit erythrocyte volume regulation.
A novel class of antimalarial agents with a promising safety profile
• A well-studied and well-tolerated safe drug in human and animal studies for sickle cell disease that exhibits antimalarial activity.
• A novel mechanism of action with a new use for malaria.
• Effectively impairs parasite growth in vivo and in vitro.
• Rapidly kills parasites in the latter stages of the asexual cycle.
• Simple chemical structural changes provide congeners with similar antimalarial activity.
Licensing agreement or sponsored research.
Tubman VN, Mejia P, Shmukler BE, et al. The clinically tested cardos channel inhibitor Senicapoc exhibits antimalarial activity. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015 Oct 12;60(1):613-6.
IPStatus: Pat. Pend.