News FocusDRUGS

Reinventing an Ancient Cure for Malaria

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Science  20 Oct 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5491, pp. 437-439
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5491.437

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As drug resistance renders cheap antimalarials ineffective, a promising candidate has emerged from an overlooked source: Asia. Used as herbal remedies in China for 2000 years, artemisinins haven't yet been approved for clinical use in Western countries. But abundant clinical data show that a water-soluble form called artesunate knocks down the number of parasites in the blood faster than any other drug does.