Japanese drug giant Eisai has entered into a joint development programme with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the University of Liverpool for preclinical development of the novel antimalarial candidate E209.

E209 is a novel, tetraoxane-based, second generation antimalarial compound discovered through joint research by the University of London and LSTM. Research suggests that it is rapidly acting and effective against all types of malaria parasites, so it is hoped that the drug could work in patients developing resistance to artemisinin-based malaria therapies.

The drugmaker has also signed a joint development programme with non-profit public-private product development partnership Medicines for Malaria Venture, to discover antimalarial candidate compounds with novel modes of action effective against parasites resistant to existing treatments, and able to prevent relapse and block transmission to mosquitoes.

Each of the projects has been awarded a grant by the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund), an international non-profit organisation striving to promote the discovery of new health technologies with the potential to help eradicate infectious diseases prevalent in the developing world, the firm said, but further details weren’t disclosed at this time.

£25m life sciences accelerator lab

Meanwhile, in huge boost for UK life science, a new £25-million laboratory development that will enable innovative research into antibiotic resistance is to be established in Liverpool.

The new Liverpool Life Sciences Accelerator will house the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, the LSTM and a raft of relevant SMEs on a 70,000-square foot site offering state-of-the-art facilities.

“With a proven track record of industry partnership and ground breaking, lifesaving research, the Accelerator will allow us to further boost Liverpool’s reputation as a world renowned centre of expertise,” said Janet Hemingway, Director of LSTM. “The collaboration with the Royal and SMEs will benefit global health by taking research and innovation from the lab to where it is needed most and will encourage further investment in Liverpool."

The Accelerator marks the first development in what is to become a city centre health campus built on site at the existing Royal Liverpool University Hospital, attracting life sciences, biomedical research companies and health organisations and generating 5,000 high value jobs, noted Helen Jackson, director of strategy and transformation at the Trust.

Building will start in mid-November, with the Life Sciences Accelerator due to open in June 2017.