NIMR APPROVES NEW MALARIA TREATMENT

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A team of scientists from the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) has approved Artequin, a new antimalarial formulation of the artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) that uses a combination of artesunate and mefloquine.

Trial results from four study-sites in the country confirmed the efficacy of the combination in the treatment of plasmodium falciparum malaria, said the group. The drug was also effective against mixed infections and exhibits significant gametocidal activity.

"One of the advantages of this combination drug is the user-friendly, simple dosage regime for adults and children and the acceptable taste masking, which should improve compliance," said the NIMR. The artesunate-plus-mefloquine combination is one of the preparations recommended in the country's National Antimalaria Treatment Policy.