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On World Malaria Day, Assessing Progress in the Fight Against a Persistent Disease

Posted on April 25th, 2019 by in Pharma R&D

April 25 marks World Malaria Day, an annual observance that recognizes the global effort to control malaria. Described by the CDC as “a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite,” malaria typically results in fever, chills and other flu-like symptoms. Roughly 3.5 billion people across 106 countries worldwide are at risk of getting malaria.

The World Health Organization (WHO) established World Malaria Day to create more awareness of this widespread disease and to encourage efforts to stop it. This is really an urgent need given the fact that there are over 200 million cases of malaria each year, resulting in more than 400,000 deaths. 

Organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have led the charge in battling the disease by funding research and facilitating collaborations. Some pharmaceutical companies have made progress in the fight – in fact, just last year the FDA approved Krintafel (tanfenoquine), a drug developed by GlaxoSmithKline and Medicines for Malaria Venture. “A single dose of the drug can flush the parasite out of its hiding place in the liver,” writes Allie Nawrat in Pharmaceutical Technology.

As with the treatment of any other disease, it is critical to ensure that researchers and healthcare providers alike have the information they need to protect, diagnose and treat people. Elsevier is committed to finding ways to connect researchers to the data and information they need to develop drugs for diseases like malaria.

For example, Plasmodium falciparum is the deadliest of Plasmodium species that cause malaria in humans and is responsible for about 50% of all malaria cases. To support malaria research, the Elsevier Professional Services team created a database of literature-extracted information covering interactions and functions of P. falciparum proteins, their effects on human cells and clinical parameters, as well as effects of small molecules on P. falciparum targets. Learn more about this work by checking out my colleague Maria Shkrob’s summary of this research.

Find out more about World Malaria Day and the “Zero malaria starts with me” campaign here.

Nicki Catchpole

As a professional with over 14 years of experience in strategy development and partnership management across a variety of industries, Nicki’s latest role as a Senior Manager, Segment Marketing at Elsevier applies her skills to the area of drug discovery and development in the Pharma and Biotech industry.
In this capacity she is focused on understanding biopharmaceutical R&D challenges and turning them into opportunity to further Elsevier’s ability to serve industry executives and the professionals who innovate in the drug discovery and development space. 
Nicki resides in New York City and holds a BA in English Literature and Mandarin Chinese from Carleton College in Northfield, MN.

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