The new malaria treatment, first approved in 60 years, developed by GSK, is efficient when the combination of a dormant state and a high infectivity make recurring malaria especially hard to eliminate. The drug can flush the parasite out of its dormant state in the liver, preventing it from re-infecting its host. Tafenoquine doesn’t interfere with other drugs used to treat the immediate infection caused by the parasite , so both treatments can be taken side-by-side. Tafenoquine only involves taking a single dose. Hwever the drug comes with side effects. People suffering from enzyme G6PD deficiency should not take the drug, as it can cause severe anemia. There are also concerns that higher doses may interact with pre-existing psychiatric conditions.
“Together with our partner, Medicines for Malaria Venture, we believe Krintafel will be an important medicine for patients with malaria and contribute to the ongoing effort to eradicate this disease,” said Dr Hal Barron, president of research and development at GSK. The next step will be for the drug to be assessed by regulators in countries where this form of malaria is a significant problem. Malaria symptoms include fever, chills, vomiting headache and muscle pain. In some cases it can be fatal.