Anacor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ANAC) announced today that it has entered into a development agreement with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) to develop Anacor's compound AN3661 for the treatment of malaria.

Under the agreement, Anacor and MMV will work together on the development of AN3661 through human proof-of-concept studies. AN3661 was developed as part of a research agreement signed by the two parties in April 2010 to identify new compounds for the treatment of malaria using Anacor's boron chemistry. AN3661 is the first candidate arising out of the research agreement to move into preclinical development.

"We are pleased with the productivity of our collaboration with MMV thus far and with the extraordinary promise of AN3661," said David Perry, Chief Executive Officer of Anacor Pharmaceuticals. "We hope that the combination of our boron chemistry platform and research capabilities and MMV's funding and disease expertise will enable us to develop AN3661 into a new therapeutic to treat malaria - a disease that causes the death of up to one million people a year."

"MMV is delighted to be collaborating with Anacor on the development of AN3661, and hope that our joint efforts will take this exciting compound into human studies as quickly as possible," said Tim Wells, Chief Scientific Officer, MMV. "The malaria parasite is already showing signs of resistance to current medicines, and we urgently need to fill the malaria medicine chest with new medicines to treat the millions affected by this disease. We look forward to working closely with Anacor, putting this compound through the rigours of preclinical studies to develop a new and effective next generation antimalarial."

About Malaria

Malaria is a preventable and treatable infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes that kills almost one million people each year, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria is the leading cause of death for children under five.

Malaria is not only a major killer in Africa but a primary cause of death and poverty - undermining development in some of the poorest countries in the world. Though the majority of the cases and the malaria deaths are found in Sub-Saharan Africa, the disease is present in Asia and Latin America.

About Anacor's Neglected Disease Initiative

Neglected diseases are defined as diseases that disproportionately affect the world's poorest people, including tuberculosis or TB, malaria, visceral leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, human African trypanosomiasis or African sleeping sickness, and filarial worm diseases such as onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis. Despite the fact that these diseases cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide, and that the current standards of care are difficult to administer, have significant toxicities and are increasingly becoming less effective due to the development of resistance, there has been little investment in developing new therapies for these diseases due to the absence of a reasonable expectation of a financial return.

In recent years, a number of foundations and governments have created public-private partnerships to address this gap by funding promising technologies that may result in new drugs. In December 2007, Anacor established a partnership with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, or DNDi, to develop new therapeutics for African sleeping sickness, visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. In May 2009, Anacor established a collaboration with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development. In April 2010, Anacor entered into a research collaboration with the Medicines for Malaria Venture to identify lead compounds for the treatment and prophylaxis of malaria. In November, 2010, Anacor entered into a collaboration with UCSF and New York Blood Center to discover drugs to treat River Blindness. And in March 2011, we announced a research collaboration with the Institute for OneWorld Health to develop new treatments for diarrheal disease.

About Medicines for Malaria Venture

MMV is recognized as the leading product development partnership (PDP) in the field of anti-malaria drug research and development. It was established as a foundation in 1999, and registered in Switzerland.

MMV's mission is to reduce the burden of malaria in disease-endemic countries by discovering, developing and facilitating delivery of new, effective and affordable anti-malaria drugs.

MMV's 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.

MMV's strength comes from its product development partnership (PDP) model reflected in its network of more than 140 pharmaceutical, academic and endemic-country partners in 37 countries. MMV also works in close partnership with a number of WHO programmes that include TDR, the Global Malaria Programme (GMP) and Roll Back Malaria (RBM).

The key to MMV's success lies in the focus of its mission, and the diversity of its team of almost 50 personnel from more than 20 countries, handpicked for their expertise and commitment to global health. Governed by the values of respect, integrity, trust and excellence, MMV is recognized for its industry-style portfolio management and wise administration of funds. It manages over USD 515 million received and committed from long-term donors such as government agencies, private foundations, international organizations, and corporate foundations. In addition, it receives in-kind donations in the form of staff, facilities, and technology from its industry partners, estimated to be equal in dollar value to the funds from donors.

MMV is currently managing the largest portfolio of antimalarial R&D projects ever assembled. Of over 50 promising projects, two MMV-supported artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs), Eurartesim™ and Pyramax®, are awaiting regulatory approval by the European Medicines Agency in 2011. In November 2010, Guilin's artesunate injection for the treatment of severe malaria was approved by the WHO's Prequalification programme with assistance from MMV. In addition, a child-friendly version of the ACT Coartem, was developed by Novartis in partnership with MMV and launched in 2009. In the first 20 months following the introduction of Coartem® Dispersible, more than 55 million courses of treatment were supplied to children in malaria-endemic countries.

Source:
Anacor Pharmaceuticals

View drug information on Coartem.

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