Malaria claims more than a million lives owing to treatment costs that very many sufferers especially from Asia and Africa, cannot afford. Children in Asia and Africa seem to be at the receiving end.
A team of UC Berkeley scientists are coming out with a facility that would enable mass production of the medicines most important ingredient, and thus enhance the capacity to lower the costs of each dose by 25 cents.
Berkeley bioengineer Jay Keasling leading a team, has been at this task for over two years, and finally it is bearing fruit. It will now be possible to manipulate bacteria to produce a form of the malaria drug. To quote his words, "This was a really critical step for us because it was the biggest hurdle to producing the drug in microbes."
Though it may take another five years for the availability of an affordable drug in the market, yet this will not be a distant dream.