Gabon research centre says antimalarial drug within reach

A scientist at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital's medical research unit said Wednesday that trials of a new antimalarial drug were encouraging and paved the way for licensing.

"These preliminary results are relatively encouraging and lead us to believe... that we could have something licensed," Dr Jose Fernandez said in Libreville at an event marking World Malaria Day.

He said the drug had been in the final of three clinical trial phases for the past two years at the research centre in Lambarene, the Gabon jungle town where winner Schweitzer founded the hospital 99 years ago.

The RTS,S/AS01E vaccine is manufactured by British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline and the research -- which is led by the University of Tubingen -- is being financed by the .

Fernandez said the vaccine had achieved 56 percent protection from malaria and 46 percent against severe malaria.

While global campaigning and wide distributions of have helped curb malaria, it is still regarded as the worst parasitic disease in the world.

The says 655,000 people died of malaria in 2010, making the mosquito-borne disease the world's fifth biggest killer in low-income countries.

Speaking at the same event in Libreville, Gabonese Health Minister Leon Nzouba described malaria as his country's top public health problem.

Schweitzer, who was born a German and later became French, was also a respected philosopher, organist, musicologist and theologian. He died in the hospital he founded in 1965 at the age of 90.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gates: $258 million for malaria research

Oct 31, 2005

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given $258 million in malaria research grants. The foundation says malaria kills an estimated 2,000 African children each day and takes the lives of more than 1 million people wor ...

WHO hails big gains in anti-malaria fight

Apr 24, 2012

The World Health Organisation heralded major gains Tuesday in the fight against malaria, one of the developing world's biggest killers, but warned universal access to treatment remains elusive.

Malaria top killer in Congo

Apr 30, 2008

Health officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo say malaria is the primary cause of illness and death, despite prevention efforts.

Recommended for you

UN says Syria vaccine deaths was an NGO 'mistake'

8 hours ago

The recent deaths of Syrian children after receiving measles vaccinations was the result of a "mistake" by a non-governmental partner who mixed in a muscle relaxant meant for anesthesia, a spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general ...

First US child dies from enterovirus D68

9 hours ago

A child in the northeastern US state of Rhode Island has become the first to die from an ongoing outbreak of a respiratory virus, enterovirus D68, health officials said Wednesday.

US Ebola patient had contact with kids: governor

9 hours ago

A man who was diagnosed with Ebola in virus in Texas came in contact with young children, and experts are monitoring them for any signs of disease, governor Rick Perry said Wednesday.

UN worker dies of suspected Ebola in Liberia

9 hours ago

The United Nations mission in Liberia announced on Wednesday the first suspected victim among its employees of the deadly Ebola epidemic ravaging the impoverished west African nation.

User comments