New drug Discovery with malaria // Drug Repurposing

New drug Discovery with malaria

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malaria remains a major health problem and affects more than 225 million individuals, causing approximately 700 thousand deaths each year. Plasmodium falciparum is the most common causative agent (WHO 2011). However, Plasmodium vivax malaria, which was previously considered benign, also causes life-threatening symptoms. P. vivax is the most prevalent species in Latin America, South-East Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Pacific (WHO 2011). Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale are less prevalent and cause less severe disease in humans, whereas Plasmodium knowlesi, a parasite of Old World monkeys, causes human disease in Southeast Asia (Cox-Singh & Singh 2008). In addition, drug resistance has been reported in P. vivax malaria (Price et al. 2009).

Sporozoites, injected by Anopheles mosquitoes as they bite into the skin of mammalian hosts, rapidly enter the blood circulation to reach liver hepatocytes, where they mature in an entirely asymptomatic phase that lasts for approximately two weeks. Sporozoites of P. vivax and P. ovale remain dormant (hypnozoites) in the human hepatocyte, where they mature months to years later. These forms cause late malaria relapses under conditions that are not well understood and are related to host stress and low primaquine (PQ) doses (Townell et al. 2012); such relapses require new drug treatment. The ideal antimalarial should destroy sporozoites soon after they are inoculated into the vertebrate host by the mosquitoes. However, no effective prophylactic anti-sporozoite drug is currently in use. Medicinal plants that hamper sporozoite development in host cells have been reported and these plants appear to act as prophylactics, as further discussed below.

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An anecdotal response

by invivoVibrio

I have worked in several labs that have produced, either directly or through a spin-off company, real products that are medically useful. Scientists are the ones who create vaccines, design diagnostic devices and tests, and discover useful drugs.
There's a whole spectrum that falls under the title "science," which ranges from the purely discovery-oriented, focusing on just learning more about a topic for learning's sake; to the purely practical, such as so-called translational research, where scientists iron out the details of a practically useful discovery and optimize it for practical applications, "translating" the basic science into something that can be produced and sold by industry

Humana Press Antimalarial Chemotherapy: Mechanisms of Action, Resistance, and New Directions in Drug Discovery (Infectious Disease)
Book (Humana Press)

Cancer-Fighting Patch to Treat Mouth Cancer  — Drug Discovery & Development
Ohio State, through the Ohio State Innovation Foundation and the university's Drug Development Institute, and the University of Michigan licensed the intellectual property to the newly formed Sirona Therapeutics.