Researchers at the University of Cape Town (UCT) have identified a compound that has the potential to treat malaria, the first time a drug candidate of this kind has been developed on African soil, they say.
New malaria drugs are urgently needed, as there is there is growing resistance to existing treatments and no effective vaccine to protect people from infection.
A new pill to treat HIV infection - combining two previously approved drugs plus two new ones - has been approved for adults living with the virus that causes Aids, US regulators said on Monday.
The single daily dose of Stribild provides a complete treatment regimen for HIV infection, the US Food and Drug Administration said in a statement, and is meant for people who have not already received treatment with other HIV drugs.
“Through continued research and drug development, treatment for those infected with HIV has evolved from multi-pill regimens to single-pill regimens,” said Edward Cox, director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA's Centre for Drug Evaluation and Research.
A NEW combination of drugs to treat tuberculosis (TB) may offer fresh hope for fighting the disease, according to local research published this week in the Lancet medical journal. The study found that a three-drug cocktail of an experimental medicine called PA-824 and two medicines already on the market was safe and as effective as current TB treatment, and had the potential to slash the time needed to treat drug-resistant forms of the disease.
TB infected 8,8-million people in 2010, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The bacterium that causes TB — mycobacterium tuberculosis — rapidly mutates and develops resistance to antibiotics, so the hunt is on for a new combination of drugs.
South African drug development company iThemba Pharmaceuticals has devised a cheaper way to make the widely used AIDS drug tenofovir and had identified several promising treatments for tuberculosis (TB), Emory University’s Prof Dennis Liotta said yesterday.
US-based Emory is a minority shareholder in iThemba, which is controlled by the Technology Innovation Agency. Founded just over 10 years ago, iThemba secured a technology transfer agreement with Emory and biotech firm Chimerix to develop better HIV and TB drugs.
"We have had some starts and stops with iThemba but we eventually got off the ground and there are a couple of really interesting projects under way," Prof Liotta said in a telephone interview.
We are living in a time of great change and excitement in TB drug development.
The last year has witnessed a number of epochal changes, including the approval and rollout of the most rapid test for TB ever discovered, the GeneXpert; the combination TB drug studies in the relapse mouse model of Eric Nuermberger and Jacques Grosset at Johns Hopkins with support from the TB Alliance; the progression of TMC207 into late phase II and of OPC67683 into phase III; and the first new regimen EBA study, NC-001 also from the Alliance.