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Zambian study reveals mass drug administration is safe, logistically feasible, accepted by communities, and effective in reducing malaria prevalence in the short term, and the Medicines for Malaria Venture launch Malaria Libre, an open-source drug discovery programme.
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To assess the feasibility of malaria elimination in Zambia, a two-year-long study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of mass drug administration campaigns. The blanket policy involves the distribution of malaria drugs – in this case, dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine – to all those within a community, irrespective of symptoms, to try to reduce the parasitic load in humans. The study showed that mass drug administration is safe, logistically feasible, accepted by communities, and effective in reducing malaria prevalence in the short term.
In an effort to increase collaboration in drug development, the Medicines for Malaria Venture, MMV, have launched Malaria Libre, an open-source drug discovery programme which aims to develop the first-ever preclinical malaria drug candidate from an open-source platform. It follows other efforts of the MMV to make malaria drug development more accessible; they previously launched the Pathogen box, a collection of drug-like molecules against certain neglected tropical diseases.
Mass Drug Administration for Malaria: The Zambia Southern Province Trial
Malaria Libre Press Release from the Medicines for Malaria Venture
Image Credits: Anna Wang/MMV
Scientific Advisor: Elena Gómez-Díaz, Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine, Spain
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