Genomic resource centre

Global applications of genomics in healthcare: Germany

Development of anti-malarial drugs

Setting: research institute

Focus of intervention: researchers/community

Background:

According to sources, malaria is responsible for 1.5 to 2.7 million deaths per year, with most of the deaths being caused by Plasmodium falciparium. This strain of malaria has recently been gaining more resistance against traditional anti-malarial medicines being used, and there is a need for new drugs that can fight malaria, especially in developing countries. Researchers in Germany are testing new drugs which have the potential for anti-malarial action.

Intervention:

The chemicals being tested as anti-malarial drugs are fosmidomycin, which inhibits DOXP reductoisomerase, and FR-900098, which is derived from the former compound. DOXP reductoisomerase is involved in a pathway in P. falciparium in which the disease manifests itself. Thus, this is a potential target for anti-malarial medicines.

Results:

Anti-malarial activity of these compounds has been shown both in vitro and in vivo. These compounds are claimed to have low manufacturing costs and a high stability, which is crucial for developing countries faced with a lack of resources. Positive results are expected as patients tolerated these drugs well in various former studies.

Sources:

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