The significant steps in understanding the way that the anti-malarial drug primaquine have been taken by LSTM researchers. The new findings would lead to the development of new, safer and more effective treatments for malaria.
The work, which was predominantly funded following an award from the Medical Research Council, has been carried out by the LSTM's Centre for Drugs and Diagnostic (CDD). The results are published in the journal Nature Communications.
LSTM's Professor Giancarlo Biagini explained: "The antimalarial primaquine is a cornerstone of global efforts to eliminate malaria, for some 70 years it has been the only drug registered that has been demonstrated to be able to cure relapsing malaria and block transmission of the disease. However, little has previously been understood about the drug's mode of action, which is seriously undermining efforts to improve the safety and pharmacology profile of this important drug class."
"This is why an understanding of how the drug works is central to replicating its most significant elements." Continued Professor Biagini: "This work has been possible with CDD given the multidisciplinary nature of the team. The current study makes a significant advancement in our understanding of PQ mechanism of action. This new knowledge is key to the development of newer and safer, broad-spectrum antimalarial drugs, work currently underway within our group."