Abstract Herein we have reported design, synthesis and in vitro biological evaluation of a library of bicyclic lactams that led to the discovery of compounds 6 and 7 as a novel class of α-glucosidase inhibitors. They inhibited α-glucosidase (yeast origin) in a mixed type of inhibition with an IC50 of ∼150 nM. Molecular docking studies further substantiated screening results. Interestingly phenotypic screening of this library against the human malaria parasite revealed 7 as a potent antiplasmodial agent. © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS.