The open access malaria box: a drug discovery catalyst for neglected diseases

PLoS One. 2013 Jun 17;8(6):e62906. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062906. Print 2013.


Historically, one of the key problems in neglected disease drug discovery has been identifying new and interesting chemotypes. Phenotypic screening of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum has yielded almost 30,000 submicromolar hits in recent years. To make this collection more accessible, a collection of 400 chemotypes has been assembled, termed the Malaria Box. Half of these compounds were selected based on their drug-like properties and the others as molecular probes. These can now be requested as a pharmacological test set by malaria biologists, but importantly by groups working on related parasites, as part of a program to make both data and compounds readily available. In this paper, the analysis and selection methodology and characteristics of the compounds are described.

MeSH terms

  • Antimalarials / pharmacology*
  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use
  • Drug Discovery*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Falciparum / drug therapy*


  • Antimalarials

Grant support

The authors have no support or funding to report.