Hit Discovery for Schistosomiasis

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  • The Wellcome Trust: £168,516.00

Funder Project Reference(s)

Effective start/end date01 Jul 201630 Jun 2019


At least 240 million people have schistosomiasis, a neglected infectious disease caused by parasitic worms. With no vaccine near clinical deployment, schistosomiasis control depends on one chemotherapeutic agent, praziquantel (PZQ). This has a relatively low clinical cure rate and is ineffective against juvenile worms, which means repeat treatments are often necessary. Based on the agent’s low efficacy and its increased use in mass drug administration programmes, driving resistance is a major concern.

Professor Karl Hoffman will use Aberystwyth University’s automated, high-throughput screening platform, Roboworm, to screen a unique set of novel chemotypes for anti-schistosomal activity. The aim is to identify starting points for a drug discovery programme.

In collaboration with the Dundee Drug Discovery Unit, the new anti-schistosomal hits will be used as part of a PZQ replacement or combinatorial strategy to treat people in schistosomiasis-endemic regions.