Despite recent impressive gains over the last decade in the fight against malaria, there exists an urgent need for new, fast acting medications to treat Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of the most deadly form of the disease. The need is especially acute given the emergence of artemesinin resistance in Asia. Here, we are please to announce a new candidate for a rapid-acting blood stage anti-malarial compound, SJ733. This compound has won Pre-Clinical Approval with the Malaria Medicines Venture. Its target, PfATP4, a sodium extrusion pump, is shown in a model above, with the compound docked in the presumptive sodium channel, where our data suggests that it impairs the function of the protein. The above image was rendered with UCSF Chimera by J.DeRisi, using a homology model and docked compound generated by J.Horst.
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