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Selective inhibitors of Heme Transporters as Antiparasitic Agents

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41AI113998-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: R41AI113998
Amount: $702,314.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIAID
Solicitation Number: PA14-072
Solicitation Year: 2014
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-02-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-01-31
Small Business Information
College Park, MD 20742-0001
United States
DUNS: 078875030
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (301) 405-0649
Business Contact
Phone: (301) 405-0649
Research Institution
COLLEGE PARK, MD 20742-5141
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant Neglected Tropical Diseases NTD which include helminthiasis and leishmaniasis are a group of thirteen parasitic and bacterial infections that affect over billion people Although these are devastating diseases of global concern their neglected status relative to other health concerns has resulted in a limited arsenal of therapeutic
compounds for their treatment The trypanosomatid parasites L major and L amazonensis are causative agents of human cutaneous leishmaniasis in the Old World and New World respectively Combined these two species are responsible for an estimated million new infections annually with million people living in areas of active parasite transmission In many regions of the world treatment of leishmaniasis still relies on toxic drugs such as pentavalent antimony which requires high doses and lengthy courses of treatment and alternative drugs are still costly and not widely available in endemic areas This situation combined with the recent increase in Leishmania infections in urban areas highlights the urgent need for identification of essential pathways in these organisms that can be targeted by new drugs with lower toxicity This proposal details a highly innovative and interdisciplinary route to
antagonize pathways for the transport of an essential nutrient for parasite survival heme which most parasites need to ingest from their environment This therapeutic strategy was deliberately chosen based on the following key observations a heme is utilized in multiple critical processes b heme is required in all stages of development c Leishmania cannot live without heme and actively ingest it and d both humans and their parasites require heme but the mechanisms used to fulfill this requirement are different Thus drugs that target heme transport pathways unique to the parasite and not shared by its mammalian host offers great therapeutic potential The studies described in this application will validate heme transporters as
novel targets for treating Leishmania infections and provide novel chemical matter as drug leads LHR is a heme transporter that is essential for Leishmania survival Loss of a single LHR allele LHR causes severe growth defects while LHR null mutants LHR are not viable suggesting that a reduction in LHR function is sufficient to significantly impair growth In this Phase I STTR application we will a structurally refine and synthesize novel small molecule antagonists of LHR heme transporter from Leishmania evaluate the efficacy of these novel compounds in dose response growth of axenic amastigotes assess the specificity of antagonism and measure heme transport inhibition and b determine the physiological consequences of pharmacologic targeting of LHR in intracellular amastigotes of L amazonensis which causes cutaneous leishmaniasis and expand our in vivo efficacy studies of specific lead compounds against intracellular amastigotes of L donovani the causative agent of the more fatal visceral Leishmaniasis in primary macrophages More broadly the success of this Phase I project will lay the groundwork for future Phase II studies in animals and for the treatment of other NTD PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE As most parasitic nematodes helminths and single celled parasites such as Trypanosomes and Leishmania do not have an intact heme synthesis pathway and instead rely on environmental heme for sustenance drugs that target heme transport pathways unique to the parasite and not shared by its mammalian host offers great therapeutic potential and could be the parasitesandapos Achilles heel Results from our proposed studies could be directly applied to the treatment of infections caused by a diverse group of parasites including intestinal nematodes lymphatic and cutaneous filarial nematodes and the kinetoplastids

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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