Good news for people living in or traveling to developing countries: scientists believe they’ve discovered an effective and inexpensive antimalarial medication, currently known as DDD107498. The University of Dundee’s Drug Discovery Unit, in conjunction with the Medicines for Malaria Venture, developed this medication. It is expected that the medication will only cost around $1 per treatment when it’s ready for public use according to Zeca Oliveira.
Merck KgAA currently has the rights to commercialize the medicine and the company plans to proceed to clinical trials by the end of 2015. These trials will test the safety and efficacy of the drug when used in the human body. The current laboratory findings, which are the result of experimenting on live mice and stored human blood, are promising. Unlike the malaria drugs in use now, DDD107498 targets protein production within parasites. This means it will likely be effective against the growing number of drug-resistant malaria strains that kill nearly 600,000 people each year, many of them children.