U.S. Regulators adopted simpler treatment on Friday with one dose to prevent malaria recurrence
Standard treatment now lasts two weeks and studies show that many patients do not complete each dose
Malaria is caused by parasites that spread to humans through mosquito bites. Antimalarial drugs can cure the initial infection, but parasites can enter the liver, hide in a sleeping form, and cause relapses months or years later. A second drug is used to stop relapses.
The new drug, GlaxoSmithKlines Krintafel (KRIN-tah-trap), targets only the type of malaria that occurs mainly in South America and Southeast Asia. Most malaria cases and deaths are in Africa, and they involve a different type.
In the tests, a dose of Krintafel worked about the same as two weeks of standard treatment, preventing relapses in about three quarters of patients over six months, the company said said
The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for patients 1
GlaxoSmithKline plans to apply soon for approval in Brazil, then in other countries where malaria is prevalent. She says she will sell the pills in poor countries at a low cost.
Worldwide, malaria infects more than 200 million people a year and kills about half a million, most of them children in Africa. It causes fever, headache, chills and other flu-like symptoms. The malaria type krintafel targets causes about 8.5 million infections annually.