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Press Release

Modus Therapeutics announces paper in PLOS ONE demonstrating the anti-adhesive properties of sevuparin in malaria patients

Modus Therapeutics
Posted on: 21 Dec 17

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – 20 December, 2017. Modus Therapeutics AB, a company focused on innovative treatments for patients with sickle cell disease (SCD), announces the publication of an important paper demonstrating the anti-adhesive properties of sevuparin in patients with malaria. The paper titled, “Inhibition of merozoite invasion and transient de-sequestration by sevuparin in humans with Plasmodium falciparum malaria,” outlines the findings of a Phase I/II trial clinical trial of sevuparin in patients with malaria.


Sevuparin has been designed, through a chemical depolymerization of heparin to have both anti-adhesive and anti-inflammatory effects without the anti-coagulation effects seen with heparin.  Preclinical studies support the hypothesis and this paper presents the first clinical data with sevuparin demonstrating its anti-adhesive properties, which are expected to be of benefit to both malaria sufferers and SCD disease patients who suffer from blocked blood vessels.


The Phase I/II trial was a randomized, open label, active control, parallel assignment study in which sevuparin was administered via short intravenous infusions to patients with uncomplicated malaria who were also receiving atovaquone/proguanil treatment.


Serious malaria occurs when the patients red blood cells become adhesive as a result of infection with the parasite Plasmodium falciparum. This leads to clogged blood vessels due clumping of the red blood cells and adherence of the red blood cells to the vessel walls. 


Amongst the key findings of the study, which were highlighted in the PLOS ONE publication, were:

·         Sevuparin was safe and well tolerated in the malaria patients

·         Sevuparin, due to its anti-adhesive properties, was able to open up previously clogged blood vessels

·         Sevuparin rapidly inhibited the growth of the Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria


The paper, published in PLOS ONE, can be found here:


This is the first time that these results have been achieved in humans.  Mats Wahlgren, Chief Scientific Officer of Modus and professor at Karolinska Institutet said: “These results provide excitement for the potential of sevuparin in malaria, something the company will continue to evaluate given the high unmet need and mortality in this devastating disease that causes more than 400,000 deaths annually.”  


Sevuparin is currently being developed for the treatment of sickle cell disease (SCD) and this paper provides the first clinical evidence of sevuparins’ anti-adhesive action.   SCD is caused by a mutation in the hemoglobin gene which leads to their red blood cells becoming sickled in shape and sticky, attaching to other blood cells and to blood vessels walls. This leads to a reduced blood flow and impaired transport of oxygen to vital organs.


Ellen K. Donnelly, Chief Executive of Modus Therapeutics, said: “We are very pleased that this clinical study demonstrating the anti-adhesive properties of sevuparin has been published. These data reinforce our confidence that the current Phase II clinical study with sevuparin for SCD will deliver positive result when it reads out in 2018.”


For further information, please contact:
Ellen K Donnelly, CEO, Modus Therapeutics:

Tel: +46 70 246 7554



David Dible/ Pip Batty, Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Tel: +44 20 7638 9571


Editor's Details

Mike Wood

Last updated on: 21/12/2017

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