At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, researchers discovered a fast-acting anti-malarial compound with promising effectiveness in human trials—findings were published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.
"The results support further development of the compound SJ733 as a fast-acting component of combination anti-malarial therapy," said corresponding author Aditya Gaur, M.D., of the St. Jude Department of Infectious Diseases. "The drug was well tolerated and well absorbed with a rapid anti-parasitic effect." Gaur and James McCarthy, M.D., MBBS, of QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Australia, are the co-first authors.
Scientists are hopeful to investigate methods that can extend blood levels of SJ733 and enhance it’s actions in patients with malaria
Caused by patristic infection, malaria is transmitted by mosquitos and targets the red blood cells.
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"Safe and effective anti-malarial drugs that work by new mechanisms are critically needed to combat drug-resistant disease," said senior author R. Kip Guy, Ph.D., dean of the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. Guy led the anti-malarial drug-discovery effort and preclinical development of SJ733 while chair of the St. Jude Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics. The preclinical trials showed that SJ733 worked against malaria parasites that are resistant to current frontline drugs.
One of the first anti-malarial compounds, SJ733 works by disrupting the malaria parasite's ability in removing the excess sodium from red blood cells. When sodium builds up, infected cells become less flexible. No side-effects were reported through SJ733 treatment.
Source: Science Daily