Scientists Find ‘Breakthrough’ Drug On Malaria

ANNOUNCEMENT by the University of
Cape Town that it has discovered a
compound with potential for curing all
strains of malaria has set the scientific world
Though clinical trials on humans have not yet taken
place, the development is being hailed as “a proud
day for African science”.
A safe, effective oral cure for malaria, with no side
effects! Even better, it may block transmission of the
malaria parasite from person to person. It sounds too
good to be true. But this is precisely what is
envisaged by a Swiss-South African research team,
which announced it has found a synthetic molecule
that has the potential to become a single-dose cure
for malaria.
According to head of Medecins Sans Frontieres,
South African Medical Unit, Dr Tom Ellman: “A
child dies every 46 seconds from malaria in sub-
Saharan Africa, and 90 per cent of malaria deaths
take place in sub-Saharan Africa.”
It is estimated that African economies lose up to
$12b per year directly related to malaria and its
impact on productivity. So, it’s a massive problem
for the region, and we are desperately in need of
more effective responses.”
The breakthrough has come from collaboration
between Switzerland’s Medicines for Malaria
Venture (MMV) and the Drug Discovery and
Development Centre (H3-D) at the University of Cape
Town, led by Professor Kelly Chibale. Ellman said
public-private partnerships of this kind might
increasingly be the key to tackling the so-called
“neglected diseases”.

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