Eskitis Institute receives additional finances for malaria research

Eskitis Institute receives additional finances for malaria research.
Eskitis Institute receives additional finances for malaria research. | Courtesy of
Griffith University’s Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery said Friday it has received additional funding from the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT) in Japan for malaria research.

The new investment, which amounts to $637,000, will be allocated to a research team based at Eskitis in Australia and will further advance research for antimalarial drugs.

Malaria, which is transmitted through mosquito bites and caused by Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum parasites, has grown increasingly drug resistant. Scientists around the world have been searching for novel methods of treating and preventing the disease.

The ultimate goal of the research is to create treatments that will prevent parasite dormancy relapse and treat malaria. The team is also exploring ways to protect people from contracting malaria infections.

“This new project extends our ongoing long-term collaboration with MMV (Swiss-based Medicines for Malaria Venture) and the more recent one with GHIT, which has been responsible for identifying new chemical entities for progression through the drug discovery pipeline,” Eskitis Professor Vicky Avery, one of the lead researchers, said. “Our involvement has been as a result of the high quality drug discovery efforts in malaria undertaken in my laboratory.”

“The assays developed to undertake the screening and biological profiling of compounds in search of new leads are based on state of the art image-based technologies,” Avery said. “We have proven that within an academic environment we can undertake drug discovery at industry standards. Indeed, we are equipped with systems which usually would only be found within large pharma.”