News / Health

Alternate Therapy for Malaria As Effective as Gold Standard Treatment

Jessica Berman

Scientists have developed a new and improved drug regimen to treat malaria that they say is as effective as the standard therapy and more convenient.  

Malaria infects up to 500 million people each year and claims the lives of one million people, mostly children in sub-Saharan Africa.  

The disease is transmitted by the bite of the female mosquito infecting people with the parasite that causes the disease.

Researchers have been trying to develop an effective alternative therapy to the standard antimalarial regimen to give health care workers in malaria endemic countries more effective treatments, according to Isabelle Borghini-Fuhrer, associate director of clinical sciences at the organization Medicines for Malaria Venture or MMV in Geneva.

"It's very important because some drugs are better tolerated by some patients than others," said Isabelle Borghini-Fuhrer. "Then there's also the phenomenon of resistance to certain drugs that appears when drugs are widely used.  And therefore there needs to be alternative treatments so patients can be immediately treated."

Borghini-Fuhrer says the new combination therapy of the drugs pyronaridine and artensunate are every bit as effective and only need to be administered once a day.  The regimen that's currently in widespread use must be taken two times per day.

A large clinical trial comparing the two antimalarial therapies was conducted in seven locations in Africa and three in Asia in participants ages 3 to 60-years-old.   In the head-to-head contest, almost 800 patients were given the new drug combination and nearly 400 participants received the standard therapy of artemether-lumefantrine.  Each were administered for three days.

The new treatment turned out to be 99.5 percent effective in ridding patients of the malaria parasite.  The standard combination therapy was effective in 90 percent of patients.  

Steven Duparc is chief medical officer at Medicines for Malaria Venture and co-author of the study.  Duparc says MMV has asked the drugs' manufacturers to keep the cost of the new combination therapy down.

"To ensure the drug will not cost more than $0.5 for the treatment of children and less than one U.S. dollar for the treatment of adults," said Steven Duparc.

Duparc says the new antimalaria regimen still needs the approval of European regulators and the World Health Organization before it's available for wide distribution in malaria endemic countries, probably in slightly more than a year.  

Investigators now want to test the new combination in children who are malnourished or who have anemia.

The results of the study on the new, once-a-day antimalarial drug therapy are published this week in the journal The Lancet.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid