India develops new synthetic anti-malaria drug

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: On the occasion of World Malaria Day on Wednesday, India has a good news for the world. Drug major Ranbaxy Laboratories today launched the first indigenously developed anti-malaria drug -- Synriam.

The Ranbaxy drug is a combination of two molecules, arterolanemaleate and piperaquine phosphate, and will need to be taken once a day by patients for three days.

"Today, India joins the elite club of the countries to have developed new drug indigenously for malaria on the occasion of World Malaria Day," Ranbaxy Laboratories CEO and MD Arun Sawhney told reporters here.

The most remarkable feature of this new powerful drug is that it is derived chemically in the lab and is a substitute to the global drug Artemisinin which is mainly a plant based product.

This year the theme for World Malaria Day is “Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria” and marks a crucial juncture in the fight against malaria.

WHO hails global progress in combating malaria and has announced a new programme T3: test, treat, track to further reinforce the fight against the disease. The goal of this programme is to test every suspected malaria case worldwide, then to treat every confirmed case with a quality-assured anti-malarial medicine and to track the disease through timely and accurate surveillance systems.

India records 1.5 million cases of malaria every year, 50% of which are caused by the falciparum malaria.

An estimated 28 million cases and 38,000 deaths due to malaria were recorded in the year 2010.