First African antimalarial to enter clinical trial

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Copyright: Giacomo Pirozzi/Panos

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“We need to debunk the myth that Africa cannot be a source of health innovation,” says Kelly Chibale, director of the Drug Discovery and Development Centre at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He believes there should be more African-led drug research so that the continent is not just seen as a place where international researchers carry out clinical trials.

Chibale and his team helped identify a compound that could evolve into the first single-dose cure for Malaria. The compound is set to finish a phase 1 clinical trial next month and is the first of its kind to be developed in Africa. The compound, which seems to be more effective than chloroquine or artemisinin, could prove crucial at a time when drug resistance is becoming a threat in the continent and beyond.