Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A new treatment

A new anti-malarial drug may soon progress to clinical trials. This new treatment "is made from simple organic molecules and will be cheaper to mass produce compared to existing therapies."

Malaria is widespread and deadly. Many of the nearly 250 million people who contract the malaria parasite each year do not have access or cannot afford adequate treatment. Drugs that are easy and cheap to produce and distribute may save many of the nearly one million lives that are lost each year due to malaria infection.

With the goal of easing the cost of malaria eradication on poor countries and individuals, the research "team at Liverpool" has "created a synthetic drug based on the chemical structure of artemisinin, an extract of a Chinese herb commonly used in malaria treatment. The new drug, which can be taken orally, is more potent than naturally derived artemisinin."

"Malaria affects the world's poorest countries and hospitals are unable to afford expensive treatments. The problem with current artemisinin-based therapies is their limited availability, poor oral absorption and high cost. We have created a new drug that is easily absorbed by the body, chemically stable and highly potent. It is made from very simple organic materials and therefore will be more cost-effective to mass produce than current therapies," says Professor Paul O'Neill.

Artemisinin is known to interact with a substance inside parasite-infected red blood cells, causing a chain of events that destroys malaria. The treatment, however, is difficult to mass produce and can be chemically unstable in the body. Scientists have now found a way of creating the most reactive part of artemisinin synthetically and fusing it with a cage-like structure made of organic molecules to make the drug more chemically stable. The stability of the chemical structure in the body makes the drug last longer, reducing the chance of the parasite reappearing.

University of Liverpool (2010, August 16). New drug treatment for malaria?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 31, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2010/08/100816095715.htm

1 comment:

  1. That is good news.There are many who are affected by the disease and even due to lack of treatment and drugs failing to work on the body.This news should be a reliever.