Potent Antimalarial Compound


Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitos and is a significant world health problem. The disease kills 430,000 people per year and sickens over 2,000,000. The development of a successful malaria vaccine is still decades away, and malaria parasites have become resistant to many existing therapeutic drugs. In addition to those living in malaria endemic areas, US, French, and NATO forces are often deployed in Africa where 90% of malaria mortality occurs. These service members and travelers alike need new and more effective preventative medications.



Researchers at Virginia Tech have synthesized tetracyclic compounds that show great promise in the treatment of malaria. The compounds were shown to be effective in the inhibition of growth, infectivity, and transmission of the parasites from the species Plasmodium (e.g. P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae, and/or P. knowlesi) and were also able to kill the parasites in one or more stages of the life cycle (e.g. in the asexual and/or sexual blood stages or liver stage). The compounds are not toxic to normal human cells, nor to E. coli, showing that it is not generally cytotoxic.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Rozzy Finn
Licensing Officer
Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.
Paul Carlier
Max Totrov
Maria Cassera