The MalDA Consortium is a collaboration between eighteen international groups, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The MalDA Consortium is an innovative drug discovery platform through collaboration among eighteen groups, delivering antimalarial lead compounds against novel targets.

The aim of MalDA is to improve and accelerate the early antimalarial drug discovery process by identifying new, essential, druggable targets. In addition, it seeks to produce early lead inhibitors that may be advanced into drug candidates suitable for preclinical development and subsequent clinical testing in humans. By sharing resources, including expertise, knowledge, materials, and reagents, the consortium strives to eliminate the structural barriers often encountered in the drug discovery process.

The longterm goal of the Malaria Drug Accelerator (MalDA) is reduce the burden of malaria which, in 2019, sickened 220 million and killed up to a half a million, mostly children under five. Although new candidate medicines have been recently developed through the optimization of compounds with malaria parasite killing properties, we believe that the community can do better and that the same, sophisticated, drug-discovery approaches that industry brings to bear on diseases like cancer and diabetes can be applied to malaria.

The member labs of the MalDA consortium work extremely collaboratively and openly to delivery of innovative anti-malarial targets and assays and hits based on those novel targets.

MalDA utilizes in vitro evolution and whole genome analysis for drug target deconvolution purposes and to study drug resistance mechanisms. To date, we have generated, sequenced, and/or analyzed more than 600 parasite samples with evolved resistance to one of more than 95 small molecules in the antimalarial drug discovery pipeline. Comparative whole genome analyses have revealed more than 3,600 single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and insertion-deletion events (INDELs) that have evolved over the course of compound selection. To our knowledge, this represents the largest in vitro dataset of its kind in the malaria parasite.

MalDA, Accelerating Malaria Drug Discovery

Here we discuss the mission of the consortium and its scientific achievements, including the identification of new chemically and biologically validated targets, as well as future scientific directions.
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Any questions about the Malaria Drug Accelerator and Consortium can be directed to [email protected]