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New Class Of Malaria Drugs Could Be Used As Both Prevention, Treatment, Study Shows

“A group of researchers led by Novartis AG have discovered novel malaria compounds that may prove to be more efficient than currently available treatments and could be used as a prophylactic,” the Wall Street Journal reports (Mijuk, 11/17). The class of drugs, called imidazolopiperazines, attacked malaria parasites in both the blood and liver when tested in mice, according to a study published online Thursday in Science, Bloomberg notes. “Researchers are hunting for new treatments against malaria amid signs the disease is becoming resistant to drugs derived from artemisinin, the basis of the most-effective medicines, jeopardizing global efforts to curb the malady,” according to the news agency (Bennett, 11/17). Researchers said early phase human trials could start at the beginning of 2012, but it would be years before any related drug would come to market, the Wall Street Journal notes (11/17).