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Glasgow varsity company gets EU grant for malaria drug research

A University of Glasgow spin-out company has received a substantial multi-million Euro award from the European Union Malaria Fund to extend..

A University of Glasgow spin-out company has received a substantial multi-million Euro award from the European Union Malaria Fund to extend its world-leading malaria research into a drug that will cure malaria and prevent the disease from spreading.

 The newly established Keltic Pharma Therapeutics Ltd, co-founded by Prof. Andrew Tobin, Prof. Graeme Milligan and Dr Andrew Jamieson, is expected to build on the recent discovery of a protein called PfCLK3 present in the malaria parasite and is essential for it to survive.

 The research, led by a team of scientists at the University of Glasgow found that inhibiting or stopping the activity of the PfCLK3 protein kills the malaria parasite which prevents it from spreading and also holds the possibility of treating the disease too. 

 Based on this discovery, Keltic Pharma plans to develop a PfCLK3 inhibitor into a drug which could be used for the treatment of malaria.

 In a statement yesterday, co-founder of Keltic Pharma and Professor of Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Glasgow, Andrew Tobin, said: “To receive this funding from the European Union is fantastic for Keltic Pharma and the University of Glasgow, as it’ll allow us to develop a drug for the treatment of malaria – an outcome from my malaria research that was only a dream ten years ago.”

Co-founder and Gardiner Chair of Biochemistry at the University, Prof Graeme Milligan said: “This EU funding will allow us to progress our very exciting basic research programmes studying GPCRs into drug discovery for the treatment of a number of human diseases.”

 Co-founder and Reader in Chemical Biology at the University, Dr Andrew Jamieson, said: “As an academic chemist, it’s a real joy to be able to be a founder of a company that can take advantage of our academic discoveries and turn them into new medicines.”

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