Biopharmaceutical firm AstaZeneca has announced that it is teaming up with researchers at the non-profit Medicines for Malaria Venture in an effort to "identify novel candidate drugs for the treatment of malaria." The MMV team "will screen 500,000 compounds in AstraZeneca's unique library for activity against P. falciparum, the most lethal of malaria parasites," according to the drug company's statement. Vicky Avery of Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, "will conduct the screening on behalf of MMV. Promising compounds identified through the screening process will be starting points for antimalarial drug discovery projects," and will be tailored to become "suitable candidates for clinical testing," according to AZ. David Brennan, the firm's CEO, says in a statement that "we will only find solutions to today's global health challenges through collaborative efforts," adding that "opening up our compound library to MMV is an important step toward addressing the enormous unmet medical needs of the developing world."
Earlier this month, Forbes' The Science Business blog examined ways in which major drug companies are beginning to "open up" their operations in order to promote scientific progress.