Researchers are testing a new drug for malaria - one that is made from simple organic molecules and will be cheaper to mass-produce.
Traditionally, an extract of a Chinese herb, artemisinin, is commonly used in malaria treatment. The new drug, created by the Liverpool team, is chemically similar to artemisinin.
AdvertisementHowever, it can be taken orally and is more potent than naturally derived artemisinin.
Compared to artemisinin, the new drug is chemically more stable in the body, owing to its organic composition. The stability makes it last longer, reducing the chance of the parasite reappearing.
"The problem with current artemisinin-based therapies is their limited availability, poor oral absorption and high cost," saod Professor Paul O'Neill.
"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," he added.
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