Development of a TLR9 Inhibitor for Cerebral Malaria

Developing new treatment for cerebral malaria.
Academia or research institute 3
  • Development of a new treatment for cerebral malaria.

What are the health needs and challenges?

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes. It is estimated that in 2012, malaria caused over 627,000 deaths, mostly among African children. Cerebral malaria occurs in approximately 10% of malaria cases and is associated with a 25-50% mortality within 24-48 hours.

Chloroquine, an agent used in the treatment of malaria for several decades has become less effective, and in some areas chloroquine resistant parasites have climbed to 90% of cases. Resistance to the newer agent artemisinin has also been described. Given the widespread prevalence of malaria and the resistance observed with available drugs, the availability of newer agents for its treatment is extremely urgent.

Partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

Eisai’s ER-820446 is a promising compound for the treatment of cerebral malaria. A selective inhibitor of Toll Like Receptor 9 (TLR9) signaling, ER-820446 has in some models significantly reducedmortality due to cerebral malaria. Pre-clinical development activities have been initiated in conjunction with researchers at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Brazil and the University of Massachusetts in the USA.

The partnership frequently reviews the progress of the research and considers options for addressing any challenges.

Geographic Reach
  • Africa
  • Americas
  • Eastern Mediterranean
See Where
Disease Area
  • Infectious and Parasitic Disease
See Disease Areas
Target Population
  • Children
  • Women
  • People with low incomes
SGDs the partnership contributes to
SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing
  1. 3.2: Reduce Under-5 Mortality 
  2. 3.3: Communicable Diseases & NTDs
  3. 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage
SDG 5: Gender Equality
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals 
Partner organizations
Academia or research institute

Federal University of Minas Gerais

University of Massachusetts

Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (FIOCRUZ)

Additional information