In 2017, in partnership with Medicine for Malaria Venture (MMV), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched a Malaria Drug Accelerator (MalDA) to accelerate the discovery of novel anti-malarial targets and delivery of early leads to the MMV’s discovery portfolio. The consortium is led by Prof. Elizabeth Winzeler at UC San Diego with additional 17 member labs.
Our approach starts with linking phenotypically active compounds to the Plasmodium molecular targets and determining their mode of action, followed by developing target-specific assays, as well as performing hit discovery and optimization to deliver early leads.
To prioritize targets that are primed to enter the MalDA pipeline, we developed a matrix of criteria and combined this info into a series of target cards. This selection process has helped us identify high priority targets and highlights where additional data is required to inform our decisions for target progression.