IMPE-QN cooperates with the experts of Purdue University (USA) and Turine University (Italy) on clinical trial of new antimalarial drug in the context of complex and widespread multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria
On June 3th,2022, a delegation of experts from VinUniversity (Ha Noi), Purdue University (USA) and Turine University (Italy) visited and met with the leadership of the Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology Quy Nhon (IMPE-QN). The visit was aimed to learn about malaria situation and antimalarial drug resistance in Central Vietnam; besides, the partners presented some initial results of their clinical study Phase 2 in some Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries and introduced the next steps for clinical trial Phase 3 with larger sample sizes in malaria-endemic areas of Vietnam, Laos, Thailand.
On behalf of the leadership of IMPE-QN, Dr. Huynh Hong Quang, vice-director welcomed and worked with the experts. The meeting was attended by the representatives of the provincial center for disease control (CDC) of Gia Lai and the district health centre of Krong Pa, Gia Lai province and leaders of relevant departments. The expert delegation included Prof. Huynh Dinh Chien, VinUniversity (Ha Noi), Prof. Philip S. Low, Purdue University (USA), Prof. Francesco Turrini, Turine University (Italy) and other delegation members.
At the meeting, Dr. Huynh Hong Quang gave the presentation on IMPE-QN, malaria situation in Central Vietnam and antimalarial drug resistance in Vietnam in general and Central Vietnam in particular within the last 3 years. According to the report, the Central Vietnam is characterized by its complicated malaria situation compared with the North and the South. Despite the decrease in malaria indicators, the Central Vietnam has still confronted many difficulties and challenges such as uncontrollable mobilized population (free migrants, agricultural workers, forest goers, field-hut sleepers, border crossers between Vietnam-Cambodia or Vietnam-Laos), insecticide resistance and ineffective management of malaria patients at grassroots level. Moreover, Plasmodium falciparum population resistance to artemisinine derivatives or even artemisinine + partner drugs (piperaquine phosphate) has spread in many provinces, threatening the target of P.falciparum malaria elimination by 2025 and the roadmap of malaria elimination by 2030.
IMPE-QN welcoming the professors of VinUniversity (Ha Noi), Purdue University (USA) and Turine University (Italy)
Dr. Huynh Hong Quang, vice-director in his presentation at the meeting
The experts presented the clinical trial results of the new triple antimalarial combination therapy of Imatinib + Dihydroartemisinine + Piperaquine phosphat (DHA+PPQ) in Phase 2 and Phase 3. This combination therapy impacts on P.falciparum through enzyme. Imatinib is an only inhibitor of Syk (spleen tyrosine kinase) (an enzyme of erythrocyte) approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration due to its effectiveness, safety and low side effects. Especially, Imatinib+DHA+PPQ combination therapy will not induce drug resistance because this enzyme doesnot exist in the parasite genome. The triple therapy has been shown to be well tolerated, to clear malaria parasites and reduce fever faster than a standard DHA-PPQ therapy. This new design of drug combination will help to overcome not only antimalarial drug resistance but also the general antimicrobial resistance.
Prof. Huynh Dinh Chien, VinUniverity (Ha Noi) summarizing the result of clinical trials in Phase 2
The experts and the leaders of IMPE-QN exchanged information on the clinical study, the drug resistance in Central Vietnam and the feasibility of choosing study site in Gia Lai province. The experts also discussed with the IMPE-QN staff and the representatives of CDC Gia Lai and district health centre of Krong Pa, Gia Lai about the protocol of clinical trial in the next phase, inclusion/exclusion criteria, study process, drug regimen/dosage, adverse event, ability of parasite reappearance by day 28 and 35 after drug administration, laboratory techniques of malaria parasite examination at IMPE-QN and Turine University (Italy). At the end of the meeting, the IMPE-QN and the partners were unanimous in editing and adding some items into the study protocol before submitting it to the Ministry of Health for approval.
Participants to the meeting
Besides, the delegation also visited and worked with the investigators of IMPE-QN at the laboratories of malaria parasite culture, in vitro testing and molecular biology. The experts were also interested in the collaborating research and training programs between IMPE-QN and other international partners such as Oxford University Clinical Research Unit Vietnam (OUCRU-VN), Australian Defence Force Malaria and Infectious Disease Institute (ADFMIDI), and U.S. Navy Medical Research Unit Number Two (NAMRU-2). The professors highly appreciated the research results made by IMPE-QN in the past time as well as the concerns of the Institute's leadership about investing in infrastructure and laboratory equipment for the sake of scientific research.
In the context of increasingly complicated P. falciparum drug resistance, it is hoped that the clinical trial of new antimalarial drug will be soon deployed and its results will help overcome drug resistance and improve malaria treatment in Gia Lai province in particular and the country in general, facilitating the malaria elimination in Vietnam by 2030.
The delegation visiting IMPE-QN's laboratories