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Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), a not-for-profit public-private partnership, was established as a foundation in Switzerland in 1999. Its mission is to reduce the burden of malaria in disease-endemic countries by discovering, developing and facilitating delivery of new, effective and affordable antimalarial drugs. Its vision is a world in which these innovative medicines will cure and protect the vulnerable and under-served populations at risk of malaria, and help to ultimately eradicate this terrible disease.

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HistoryEdit

MMV was launched in 1999, with initial seed finance of US$4 million from the Government of Switzerland, Department for International Development (UK), the Government of the Netherlands, The World Bank, and Rockefeller Foundation.

In 1999, the pipeline for new antimalarial drugs was virtually empty. The possibility of profit in antimalarial drug development was considered too low to attract pharmaceutical investment. Malaria was killing 1-2 million people a year, most of them children under five and pregnant women from the poorest regions of the world.

The drugs they were using no longer worked and the need to act in the face of a projected public health disaster due to escalating drug resistance provided reason to launch MMV and has since proved that the public-private partnership model is an efficient way to bridge the gap in new drugs for malaria.

Organization and governanceEdit

MMV is governed by a Board of Directors chosen for their scientific, medical and public health expertise in malaria and related fields, their research and management competence as well as their experience in business, finance and fundraising. The Chairman of MMV's Board is Per Wold-Olsen. MMV also has a Board of Directors in North America, an Expert Scientific Advisory Committee which helps to identify projects, an Access & Product Management Advisory Committee and a Global Safety Board which reviews projects.

Project portfolioEdit

MMV's project portfolio focuses on delivering efficacious medicines that are affordable, accessible, and appropriate for use in malaria endemic areas. Specifically, the goal is to develop products that will provide: efficacy against drug-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum, potential for intermittent treatments (infants and pregnancy), safety in small children (less than 6 months old), safety in pregnancy, efficacy against Plasmodium vivax (including radical cure), efficacy against severe malaria, and transmission-blocking treatment.

Access and deliveryEdit

MMV works in partnership to ensure the life-saving antimalarials emerging from its research-and-development pipeline do not suffer undue delays in reaching patients in need. MMV's access team focuses on assuring acceptance of new medicines, expanding reach to vulnerable patients and measuring and evaluating impact and need.

Open source researchEdit

MMV started the Open Source Malaria project,[1] which encourages those interested to share procedures and results of open source research.[2][3] The Open Source Malaria project received worldwide media attention after helping, together with researchers at the University of Sydney, to supervise high school students at Sydney Grammar School who adapted a synthesis of Daraprim (pyrimethamine), using a less hazardous method to improve safety, to illustrate the ability of enthusiastic amateurs to produce this drug. Daraprim has been marketed in the U.S. at $750 per pill due to non-patent exclusivity restrictions; the students synthesized it for under $20 USD.[4][5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "OpenSourceMalaria". hosted at OpenWetWare.
  2. ^ "Open Source Research". Medicines for Malaria Venture.
  3. ^ "OpenSourceMalaria:FAQ".
  4. ^ University of Sydney (2016-11-30). "Breaking good: School students make costly drug cheaply using open source approach". Eurekalert.
  5. ^ Ehsan Knopf (2016-12-01). "Sydney high school students spend $27 to recreate drug that has retailed for $148k". 9news.com.au.

External linksEdit