Canadian biotechnology company Upstream Biosciences recently announced that its new malaria drug candidates have proven to be safe in toxicity tests with animals.
Upstream scientists have been working with colleagues at Makerere University in Uganda to develop the treatments, the Monitor
reports. The drug candidates were discovered using an advanced computational approach, according to an Upstream release. Tests in February suggested that the new malaria drugs have the potential to add to the treatment of drug-resistant forms of malaria.
The drug candidates were "well-tolerated, with no signs of serious toxicity at likely therapeutic dosages suggested by initial in vitro
efficacy experiments," the release said. Joel Bellenson, CEO of Upstream, said the results "mark an important step in our program to develop safe and effective drugs to fight this pervasive condition".
Bellenson said researchers can begin testing the drugs in sick animals, although he said it is difficult to know when human trials would start. "Drug development has several stages and sometimes requires taking one step back to make two steps forward," he said. "When we get the animal efficacy data, it will tell us whether we need to use our artificial intelligence software to make the drugs more potent or less toxic," he added.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation