JUL 24, 2019 09:55 AM PDT

Understanding The Anti-Malarial Drug Primaquine (PQ)

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Scientists at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) have advanced their experiments to understand the mode of action for the anti-malarial drug primaquine (PQ)—which is currently lethal for patients with a glucose-6-phoshate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. The anti-malarial drug primaquine (PQ) studies can eventually lead to safer and effective therapeutics for Malaria.

"The antimalarial primaquine is a cornerstone of global efforts to eliminate malaria, for some 70 years it has been the only drug registered that has been demonstrated to be able to cure relapsing malaria and block transmission of the disease,” says LSTM's Professor Giancarlo Biagini. “However, little has previously been understood about the drug's mode of action, which is seriously undermining efforts to improve the safety and pharmacology profile of this important drug class”

Experiments were designed to replicate the interaction between drug and the host enzymes that catalyze the production of cytotoxic materials from the metabolites of PQ. Findings from these experiments were published in the journal Nature Communications and shows how PQ displays selectivity towards specific parasitic stages after a Malaria infection.

London School of Tropical Medicine: Plasmodium falciparum late-stage gametocyte, one of the parasite stages targeted by primaquine. Credit: LSTMED.AC.UK

The hunt for malaria therapeutics is critical for treating millions of affected people in malaria-endemic countries and for eradicating global malaria.

Learn more about the 2016 report by the World Health Organization (WHO) addressing global malaria challenges:

"This is why an understanding of how the drug works is central to replicating its most significant elements,” stated Professor Biagini. "This work has been possible with CDD given the multidisciplinary nature of the team. The current study makes a significant advancement in our understanding of PQ mechanism of action. This new knowledge is key to the development of newer and safer, broad-spectrum antimalarial drugs, work currently underway within our group."

Source: London School of Tropical Medicine

About the Author
  • Nouran enjoys writing on various topics including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
NOV 15, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
NOV 15, 2019
Drug Reduces Heart Attacks in Diabetic Patients
Recent results from a clinical trial that evaluated the addition of a drug called ‘ticagrelor’ to aspirin were shown to improve clinical outcom...
NOV 15, 2019
Technology
NOV 15, 2019
Biomagents for Drug Discovery
Scientists have recently developed a chip-like device that utilizes tiny magnets that sort large populations of mixed cell types. "We casually agreed...
NOV 15, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
NOV 15, 2019
Breast Cancer Drug Increases Survival for Prostate Cancer Patients
A breast cancer drug is better at treating advanced prostate cancer in some men than current therapies, a clinical trial shows....
NOV 15, 2019
Infographics
NOV 15, 2019
Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) Technology
Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) allows researchers to investigate different types of biomolecular interactions and mechanisms in real-time and label-free....
NOV 15, 2019
Health & Medicine
NOV 15, 2019
All you need to know about Orphan Drugs
Orphan drugs are medicinal products intended for the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of very rare life-threatening diseases. To offset the high development cost of orphan drugs, in 1983,...
NOV 15, 2019
Technology
NOV 15, 2019
New Encapsulation Technology
Research at the University of Waterloo has concluded new encapsulation technology that can offer an inexpensive, and effective method for coating liquid me...
Loading Comments...