News of the WeekInfectious Diseases

Candidate Drug Breaks Down Malaria's Walls

Science  15 Feb 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5558, pp. 1207-1209
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5558.1207b

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On page 1311, a team reports on a new class of antimalarial drugs, one that has shown remarkable effectiveness in rodents and primates. Unlike most commonly used antimalarials, which target the parasites' hemoglobin metabolism or DNA synthesis, the new compound, dubbed G25, inhibits the parasites' ability to synthesize protective membranes while sequestered away within red blood cells. The compound appears to be effective against multidrug-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum, researchers say.