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novel steroid-derived substances for therapy and prophylaxis of infectious diseases

Organization name

TransMIT Gesellschaft für Technologietransfer mbH



Provided are novel steroid-derivatives with a broad spectrum of activity for the treatment of infectious diseases. For these  substances, no resistances or steroid-like side effects are known. These compounds furthermore exhibit a synergistic effect in  combination with artemisinin.

Particularly well investigated is the efficacy of these novel substances in the treatment of infections which are caused by parasites of the genus Plasmodium.

Product description and business case

These entirely new substances offer an excellent alternative, especially viewed against the background of increasing problems with the development of resistances of infectious pathogens against to date existing drugs. The compounds are derived from steroids and suitable for the development of small molecule inhibitors in innovative drugs, especially against infection diseases caused by parasites.

The invention is of particular interest for companies who develop, produce and distribute new drugs for the treatment and prophylaxis of infectious diseases like e.g. malaria.

Market, application fields and marked trends

In this context, the novel compounds represent entirely new lead structures for further optimization of drug efficacy and the development of a variety of other potentially valuable active substances, in particular for the development of drugs for the treatment of diseases caused by parasites like e.g. malaria and schistosomiasis.

To date, approximately three billion people in 108 countries are threatened by infections with the malaria pathogen Plasmodium falciparum. Annually, about 240 million people are diagnosed with malaria of which an estimated number of one million die from this disease, and 90% of the people affected by malaria come from Africa.

The number of infections also increases in other countries on other continents. According to estimations by the WHO, about 15 millions of people are annually infected by malaria in India alone, of which about 20.000 die from this infection. This number corresponds to approximately 77% of the malaria cases in the entire Southeast Asian region.

In 2008, the market for pharmaceuticals for the treatment of malaria reached 118 million US dollars alone in the countries of Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania (Frost & Sullivan, 2008).

Unique selling point / USP

Compared to other drugs to date available on the market, the new active substances offer the following significant advantages:

  1. No known resistances
  2. No steroid-like side-effects known
  3. in vitro IC50-values in the low nanomolar range
  4. Upscaling of production is possible
  5. Synergistic effect with artemisinin

State of product development

The compounds were synthesized and their activity against Plasmodium falciparum blood stages was demonstrated according to internationally accepted protocols. In various cell culture experiments no major cytotoxic effects have been observed.

The compounds were furthermore tested in vivo in a malaria mouse model. The novel active substances were well tolerated by the patient, substantially reduced the parasitic load and exhibited a life-prolonging effect.

Patent status

A German priority application was filed on October 06, 2010; the international PCT application with claim for German priority was filed on October 06, 2011.

Possible cooperations

The TransMIT GmbH is looking for cooperation partners or licensees for further preclinical and clinical development of the invention in Germany, Europe, the USA, and Asia.

Invitation to a discussion with experts and market analysts

After signing a non-disclosure agreement, the opportunity is provided for a discussion with experts/scientists behind this new product, with market analysts as well as innovation managers in order to get more detailed insight into the new technology and business opportunities.

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