Scientists may have discovered a permanent cure to malaria


Scientists have identified a promising new anti-malarial drug which has the potential to cure the mosquito-borne disease and block its transmission with low doses in developing countries.

According to a report by daily Asian Age, an international team of researchers developed a series of potent compounds to combat malaria known as the 4-(1H)-quinolone-3-diarylethers, or quinolones.

The researchers narrowed the most effective drug candidates in the

quinolones series to one lead drug – ELQ-300 – now moving toward clinical testing.

In initial preclinical tests, the lead drug demonstrated impressive preventive results.

In addition, ELQ-300 could likely be produced more cheaply than existing anti-malarial drugs, a major advantage in treating a tropical disease that kills nearly one million people a year and causes recurring bouts of severe and incapacitating illness, most often among poor people in developing countries.

“This is one of the first drugs ever to kill the malaria parasite in all three stages of its life cycle,” said Dennis Kyle from the University of South Florida.

“So, it may become part of a new-generation therapy that not only treats sick people and prevents them from getting ill, but also blocks the transmission of malaria from mosquitoes to humans. If the drug can break the parasite life cycle, we may ultimately eradicate the disease,” Kyle said.

The new drug class identified by the researchers was derived from the first anti-malarial quinolone, endochin, discovered more than 60 years ago but never pursued as a treatment because it appeared not to work in humans.

Using new technology, researchers demonstrated that these compounds were indeed highly effective against Plasmodium falciparum, the most lethal strain of malaria and Plasmodium vivax, the major cause of malaria outside Africa.



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