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First patient enrolled in Modus’ sevuparin trial

Research is evaluating the therapy among paediatric patients with severe malaria.

Modus Therapeutics (Modus) – a company developing treatments for patients with high unmet medical needs – has announced the inclusion of the first patient in its SEVUSMART trial. Sponsored by Imperial College London and Wellcome, the phase 1 clinical study is evaluating the company’s proprietary drug sevuparin in paediatric patients with severe malaria.

The SEVUSMART phase 1 trial will evaluate the safety and tolerability of escalating doses of sevuparin in up to 20 paediatric patients aged three months to 12 years presenting with severe malaria at the Kilifi County Hospital, Kilifi, Kenya.

The study is designed to identify the appropriate dose of sevuparin together with standard care in severe malaria to be taken forward in future clinical studies. The drug has already shown promising effects on the malaria parasite in patients with uncomplicated malaria and in human samples.

The trial is the result of a collaboration between Modus and a team led by Professor Kathryn Maitland from Imperial College London. Meanwhile, the project is funded by a collaborator grant in science from Wellcome.

Modus is currently developing sevuparin in sepsis, septic shock and other conditions with systemic inflammation, of which severe malaria constitutes an example.

Professor Kathryn Maitland of Imperial College London, reflected: “We’re excited to be starting this trial, which was designed by a team of global experts in the field. We believe that sevuparin has the potential to support the treatment of severe malaria in children. Through our work, we hope to grow our understanding of how to improve patient outcomes in what remains a very challenging disease area.”

John Öhd, chief executive officer of Modus, said: “We’re delighted to be moving forward with this important collaboration researching sevuparin in severe malaria. We are rapidly expanding our understanding of the drug’s impact on systemic inflammation mechanisms due to different causes, and collaborations like this remain a key part of our strategy to maximise the development potential of sevuparin.”

Severe malaria remains an unaddressed medical problem, especially in parts of the world with endemic malaria. The condition primarily affects young children infected with the parasites. In severe malaria, the parasitic infection causes a systemic inflammatory syndrome that shares similarities with sepsis and other severe conditions which, if uncontrolled, may then progress into shock and multi-organ failure.