New drug targeting LF and onchocerciasis begins its first in human trial in Liverpool

A new drug developed by a partnership led by LSTM, which targets neglected tropical diseases, lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis, has begun its first human trial.

Lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis are debilitating diseases that affect more than 150 million people worldwide. Both are caused by parasitic worms, and this specific drug AWZ1066S was designed to targetWolbachia, bacterial equivalence is necessary for the survival of the worm, rather than the worm itself.

Originally developed by the A ∙ WOL-backed Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the current work is a partnership between LSTM, the University of Liverpool (UoL) Department of Chemistry and Eisai Co. Ltd. Funded by a grant from the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT).

AWZ1066S was given to the first registered participant in a Phase 1 clinical trial to be held at the NIHR Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Clinical Research Facility, located at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on 21 December. This first human trial follows the completion of pre-clinical safety tests and the drug’s safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics will be evaluated.

LSTM Deputy Director and Project Leader, Professor Steve Ward, said: “This has been a very fruitful and fruitful partnership and we are pleased to see the first drug candidate specifically designed for LF and Onchocerciasis reach this stage after a rigorous pre-clinical evaluation.

Professor Mark Taylor, Director of the A∙WOL Consortium, commented, “Our approach to killing the parasitic worm by targeting essential bacteria within the worm is unique and offers several advantages over drugs that directly target worms and has the potential to reduce the eradication time frame from decades to years. The AWZ1066 has a real game-changing potential.”

The candidate drug AWZ1066S also has potential for use in all populations, including children and pregnant women, providing a unique opportunity to make a significant contribution to communities affected by these diseases.

This new candidate drug was developed from a screening campaign followed by several rounds of chemistry improvement. (Link is external) (Opens in a new tab)

Our multifactorial chemical optimization approach has delivered a molecule with high potency and specificity against target pathogens along with desirable oral exposures and a preclinical safety profile. We are all excited to see this new synthetic molecule enter human trials. “

Paul O’Neill, Professor in the Department of Chemistry, University of Liverpool

With the direct participation of Eisai Co.Ltd.AndThe partnership has been able to accelerate the speed at which the candidate drug is effectively moving through the development pipeline. As a result, the candidate is now ready to enter the first human trial.

The GHIT Fund facilitates and funds global partnerships to discover and develop new health technologies, including medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics, for infectious and neglected tropical diseases prevalent in developing countries.

In addition to Eisai support and GHIT funding, the preclinical development and evaluation of 1066 was also supported by the MRC DPFS scheme in the UK.


Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM)


Leave a Comment