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Successful anti-malaria drug makes debut in the market

By , People Daily Digital
Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 18:41 | 2 mins read
Artequick, anti-malaria drug.Photo/Courtesy

Artequick is a fourth generation drug combination therapy that is derived from a Chinese plantartemisinin, and an antimalarial called piperaquine.

Artemisinin And Piperaquine Tablets with the brand name Artequick is a Guangdong innovative drug with completely independent intellectual property rights. It was authorized for marketing as a first class national new drug by China National Foodand Drug Administration in 2008. 

Artequick is reported to be widely used in 23 countries and tohave obtained international patent licenses from 40 countries including theUnited States. 

The main ingredient is Piperaquine, a 4-aminoquine type antimalarial like Chloroquine, but safer and with higher efficacy compared toChloroquine. The drug that was developed by Artepharm Ltd China through GuangdongNew South Group and Prof LI Guoqiao in Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine is administered orally in a dose of two tablets.

The Artepharm regional director, Jim Wu said that Artequickhas been used significantly to help eliminate Malaria in the past and continues to make great progress in the fight against malaria in various parts of the world.China could be leading the next step in the fight against malaria in Africa. 

There are global reports that, Chinese scientist Tu Youyou discovered the antimalarial compound artemisinin and figured out how to extract it from the Asian sweet wormwood plant. 

The work earned her a Nobel Prize in2015—and it’s central to China’s efforts to fight malaria in Kenya today.Jared Kushner in his writing on foreign aid says that:, theBill and Melinda Gates Foundation said it was committed to eradicating malaria across the globe. By then, it was late to the game. 

Chinese scientists working with a Chinese philanthropist and his company, New South, had already begun eradicating malaria from the small Africannation of Comoros.

The Chinese scientists are now setting their sights on a more ambitious location: Kenya, the East African nation of nearly 50 million people with a far more tested approach to fighting malaria called Mass DrugAdministration or MDA that involves giving antimalarial pills to everyone in a given area at once.If successful, such the effort and initiatives would easethe malaria disease burden on Kenya’s health system and economy and also showcase Chinese philanthropy in Africa.

The Chinese drug artemisinin has been hailed as one of the greatest advances in fighting malaria, the scourge of the tropics, since the discovery of quinine centuries ago. 

Artemisinin’s discovery is being talked about as a candidate for a Nobel Prize in Medicine. Millions of American taxpayer dollars are spent on it for Africa every year.

In Kenya, malaria is the second biggest killer based on the 2020 Economic Survey. 

Last year, more than four million malaria cases were confirmed in public health facilities in Kenya.

According to the World HealthOrganization (WHO), an estimated 3.4 billion people are at risk of contracting malaria, and 400,000 die of it yearly.Despite interventions such as bed nets, indoor residual sprays, treatment drugs and the recent advent of vaccines, the disease remains a major killer globally.

The drug introduced in the country in 2009 goes for Sh600 for the four tablets in the treatment of malaria.Researchers are exploring more innovative approaches to help the world eliminate malaria.