Modus Therapeutics initiates a Phase I/II study with Sevuparin for the treatment of severe malaria

Modus Therapeutics, part of the Karolinska Development portfolio, today announced that the first patient has received a dose of Sevuparin in a Phase I/II study. This is the first time that Sevuparin will be tested in malaria patients. The study is conducted in uncomplicated falciparum malaria patients with safety as the primary objective. In the next step efficacy in severe malaria patients will be tested. A total of 98 patients is planned to be included in the trial which will be conducted in Thailand together with the Mahidol Oxford Research Unit (MORU) in Bangkok. MORU is a collaboration between Mahidol University and the University of Oxford sponsored by the Wellcome Trust of Great Britain.

Pirkko Sulila Tamsen, CEO, Modus Therapeutics

“I am delighted to announce that the first malaria patient has been included for treatment with Sevuparin. We have great hopes to turn our malaria research programs into new treatment policies to the benefit of patients suffering from severe malaria.  We are pleased to have Prof Arjen Dondorp at MORU as the coordinating principal investigator in our study. Prof Dondorp was the principal investigator for AQUAMAT, the largest ever antimalarial drug trial in severe malaria. AQUAMAT was published in the Lancet 2010 together with Prof Nick White and Prof Nick Day, both world leading experts in the field of malaria research.”

Prof Arjen Dondorp, Coordinating Principal Investigator, Department Head and Deputy Director of the MORU

“Although it is still early days I have high expectations of Sevuparin which interferes with the pivotal culprit in malaria pathophysiology, which is blockage of the smallest blood vessels in vital organs. It could help to reduce mortality in cases of severe malaria where potent antimalarial treatment alone is not sufficient.”

There are 250 million malaria cases per year resulting in close to one million deaths, mostly children. Despite optimal antimalarial treatment, 10 to 30 percent of the patients with severe malaria die. Sevuparin is a potential new adjuvant treatment of severe malaria that acts by preventing and reversing the infected cells’ ability to block blood vessels.

Torbjörn Bjerke, CEO, Karolinska Development

“We believe that Modus Therapeutics has found both an excellent way to fast implementation of the clinical development program as well as access to clinical expertise which will enable this potential lifesaving treatment to reach clinical proof-of-concept in malaria patients with a big medical need.”