EMA authorizes use of first artemisinin combination therapy

The European Medicines Agency recently approved the drug Eurartesim, the first artemisinin combination therapy, for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria.

Eurartesim, dihydroartemisinin piperaquine, was developed as a joint project between the Italian Sigma Tau Group and the non-profit Medicines for Malaria Venture. The drug will soon be delivered to Cambodia, the first malaria-endemic country to place an order with STG, according to

Cambodia has prioritized Eurartesim as a first-line treatment for malaria and plans to use international funding for its purchase now that the EMA has given the all clear.

STG recently submitted Eurartesim for pre-qualification by the World Health Organization, whose acceptance would make the treatment highly regarded among significant donors for quality and efficacy. The Italian pharmaceutical also plans to register the new drug in key African nations.

"Eurartesim represents a major innovation in the fight against the malaria," Professor Trevor Jones, a member of STG's board of directors, said, reports. "We are proud to announce that we continue to work towards achieving registration and distribution of the drug in malaria-endemic countries where thousands of people die each year from this disease. We are also ensuring its availability in Europe."

In addition, Eurartesim, with EMA marketing authorization, is slated to be made ready for sale across Europe for use by travelers and for imported cases of malaria.