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A new antimalaria drug: less expensive, simple treatment, easy to produce

Created by paustian on May 22, 2013, 7:29 PM

 

Malaria is the most important tropical disease in the world, with over 665,000 deaths worldwide, many of them in children. The malaria parasites, protozoa of the Plasmodium genus, are susceptible to a number of drugs, but have been becoming more resistant the drugs available for treatment. Professor Jonathan Vennerstrom of the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy and his team announce the development of Synriam (a synthetic trioxolane) that has many of the properties of artemisinin, but none of the downsides.

The paper describing the synthesis, toxicology, and effectiveness of this trioxolane is available in Nature. I found it was interesting that this paper was published in 2004, yet the clinical trials took 8 years to complete and bring this drug to market. It demonstrates how careful governments have to be with new drugs being introduced into the market.