Single-tablet treatment may be effective against malaria

Single tablet as potentially effective malaria therapy
Single tablet as potentially effective malaria therapy | Courtesy of
Researchers from the nonprofit Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economy, are working to determine the safety and effectiveness of a single-tablet therapy to treat malaria.

The tablet is meant to be dissolved in water, which will then kill all of the malaria parasites and could also protect patients from becoming reinfected with the virus. The tablet contains a synthetic substance called OZ439, which is the active ingredient in Artefenomel. It is also commonly combined with Piperaquin.

Experts estimate that worldwide approximately 584,000 people die from malaria each year, with most deaths occurring in Africa because the epidemic's impact strongly correlates with poverty levels and weakened pregnant women and children. As of today, the only effective therapies take days to treat malaria.

"Due to supply bottlenecks, but also the quick reduction of symptoms, the administration of therapies over several days is often inadequate, which can lead to treatment failure and ultimately represent a threat to the patients," Michael Ramharter, a representative of the Infectiology and Tropical Medicine Division of the University for Internal Medicine I, said. "Once the fever falls one day after commencement of the malaria therapy, the reliable intake of medication is often forgotten. Effective treatment with just one dose would therefore be a giant step forward.”

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Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economics

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