Researchers in Australia say a compound tested in mice kills the parasite that causes malaria. They hope to move a candidate they estimate would cost around $1 a dose into human clinical trials, according to an abstract published in the journal Nature.
The compound, labeled DDD107498, demonstrated the potential to address a variety of clinical needs, including single-dose treatment for malaria transmission, according to the June 17 publication from lead researcher Ian Gilbert of the University of Dundee in Britain and more than 60 international colleagues.
A February study in The Lancet said Southeast Asia could soon see a spread of virulent new strains of drug-resistant malaria that already have spread much faster than experts had expected.
The alarm was sounded after a strain resistant to the common treatment for the disease, artemisinin, was found to have reached Myanmar, not far from the border with India and its population of nearly 1.3 billion.
GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) has sought European regulatory approval of an experimental malaria vaccine that could be shipped this year.