The objective of this work was to characterize the in vitro (Plasmodium falciparum) and in vivo (Plasmodium berghei) activity profile of the recently discovered lead compound SSJ-183. The molecule showed in vitro a fast and strong inhibitory effect on growth of all P. falciparum blood stages, with a tendency to a more pronounced stage-specific action on ring forms at low concentrations. Furthermore, the compound appeared to be equally efficacious on drug-resistant and drug-sensitive parasite strains. In vivo, SSJ-183 showed a rapid onset of action, comparable to that seen for the antimalarial drug artesunate. SSJ-183 exhibited a half-life of about 10 hours and no significant differences in absorption or exposure between noninfected and infected mice. SSJ-183 appears to be a promising new lead compound with an attractive antimalarial profile.
Keywords: Plasmodium falciparum; antimalarial studies; cross-resistance; stage-specificity.