Study: Pyramax works as well as Coartem for malaria

Pyramax, an experimental once-a-day malaria drug developed by Korea's Shin Poong Pharmaceutical and the Medicines for Malaria Venture, works just as well as Novartis' twice-daily pill Coartem, according to a study published in the journal Lancet.

The drug cleared the disease-causing parasite from the blood of 99.5 percent of patients in Africa and Asia after 28 days, compared with 99.2 percent for Coartem, said researchers led by Antoinette Tshefu at the University of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as quoted by Bloomberg.

In an accompanying comment, however, Dr. Francois Henri Nosten of the Mahidol-Oxford University Tropical Medicine Research Programme says the study was limited because it consisted of many older African children and adults who had probably acquired some malaria immunity. He also raised concerns about liver toxicity.

If approved, Pyramax will be the first registered treatment for the two most common species of malaria parasites, an MMV official is quoted by Bloomberg as saying.

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ALSO: Pfizer and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) entered into an agreement for the development, access and delivery of a fixed-dose combination treatment consisting of azithromycin dihydrate (AZ) and chloroquine phosphate (CQ) for the Intermittent Preventive Treatment of P. falciparum malaria in pregnancy (IPTp). Release