Young malaria patient in northern Thailand.
BANGKOK – The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) has said that for the first time, Thai researchers have developed their own anti-malaria drugs in Thailand.
Prof. Dr. Yongyuth Yuthavong, a senior researcher at NSTDA, says the researchers from National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology of Thailand (BIOTEC) have developed a new ‘P 218’ substance that can resist malaria.
Thai researchers applied the knowledge of a medicinal structure that had been found 10 years earlier, and used that to create the substance, which effectively resists malaria.
The NSTDA cooperated with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), the world malaria venture organization, in order to experiment with the pre-clinic levels of the substance, and is using “good laboratory practices”, meaning that it will take more than five years to totally approve the drug.
If the trial for the medicine passes, it will replace the current anti-malaria medicine, since modern strains of malaria seem to have more resistance against the drugs action, especially in the Thai-Burmese border and Thai-Cambodian border areas.