Thoughtful Testing Of Experimental Antimalarial Medicines Can More Quickly Advance Efforts To End Malaria
Fortune: Novartis Exec: We Just Got One Step Closer to Winning the Fight Against Malaria
Vas Narasimhan, global head of drug development and chief medical officer at Novartis
“…Evidence of resistance to artemisinin — currently the standard treatment for malaria recommended by the World Health Organization — is mounting in Southeast Asia and could spread to Africa. … [W]e need to imagine what’s next and prepare for it — in this case by pressing forward with the development of new antimalarial medicines that can supplement or replace artemisinin. This is a unique challenge. Medicines must be tested in the environments where they’ll be used. In the case of malaria — which hits hardest in Africa — clinical trials must be conducted in countries with significantly constrained public health resources while meeting the universally high quality standards that clinical trials require. Still, with public and private partners collaborating with a firm resolve, there’s a path forward. … Let’s remember that with the right investments and collaborative approaches, we can get closer to our goal of winning the fight against malaria” (8/24).