Thursday 31 July, 2014

New malaria drug twice as effective as existing ones

Published On: Thu, Oct 18th, 2012 | Malaria | By BioNews

Lab tests have shown that a new malaria drug is twice as effective as the best medication against the global scourge and may fight it with just a single dose instead of multiple doses as at present.

Gary Posner, professor of chemistry at Johns Hopkins and his team explain that malaria continues to kill almost one million people worldwide annually, most of them children. The best treatment is the so-called artemisinin combination therapy (ACT).

It requires patients to take pills every day for several days, and many patients fail to complete the regimen, the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry reports.

Consequently, these patients don’t get better, and it opens the door for malaria parasites to develop resistance to ACT. To stop that from happening, the researchers developed a new type of ACT that could stop malaria with a single dose, according to a Johns Hopkins statement.

They describe a series of new compounds they developed that, given once, are more effective than traditional artemisinin-derived substances. One of the new compounds, when combined with mefloquine, killed off all of the parasites in some mice with just a single oral dose and allowed those mice to live almost twice as long as those treated with conventional ACT.

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