New Compound Kills Malaria in 48 Hours

By Casey Morada - 08 Dec '14 09:48AM

A new study suggest that a promising new anti-malarial compound tricks the immune system to rapidly destroy red blood cells infected with the malaria parasite without damaging healthy cells.

According to researchers, the compound called (+)-SJ733 employs a novel mechanism to kill the malaria parasite. In a mouse model of malaria, a single dose of (+)-SJ733 killed 80 per cent of malaria parasites within 24 hours. After 48 hours, the parasite was no longer detectable, The Economic Times reported.

The compound was developed from a molecule identified in previous research from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  Laboratory evidence suggests that the compound's speed and mode of action work together to slow and suppress development of drug-resistant parasites. 

Corresponding author R. Kiplin Guy, from the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in US, said: "Our goal is to develop an affordable, fast-acting combination therapy that cures malaria with a single dose," reported the Business Standard.

The study, which appeared online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), revealed that the compound can disrupt activity of the ATP4 protein in Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest of the malaria parasites. Inhibiting ATP4 enables the immune system to eliminate malaria-infected red blood cells. 

"The data suggest that compounds targeting ATP4 induce physical changes in the infected red blood cells that allow the immune system or erythrocyte quality control mechanisms to recognize and rapidly eliminate infected cells," said co-author Joseph DeRisi, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. 

"This rapid clearance response depends on the presence of both the parasite and the investigational drug. That is important because it leaves uninfected red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, unharmed," he added. 

Planning is underway to move the compound from the laboratory into the clinic for safety trials in healthy adults.

Fun Stuff

4 Products Moms Can't Live Without

4 Products Moms Can't Live Without

11 Mar '21 14:01PM

Join the Conversation

The Next Read

Real Time Analytics