Failed skin disease remedy leads Nijmegen researchers to possible malaria cure

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A failed study into a remedy for skin disease psoriasis may be the breakthrough for a cure for malaria, according to Radboudumc in Nijmegen. One of the Dutch researchers found a reference to possibly tackling malaria in the same way the failed psoriasis remedy worked in a book from 1946, and the method shows promise, the Telegraaf reports. 

"The potential medicine, a pantothenamide molecule, is very similar to a molecule that occurs naturally in the malaria parasite. As a result, the parasite uses the medicine in almost the same way in the metabolism. With the big difference that this molecule causes problems for the metabolism of the single-cell malaria parasite, which dies at a result", Radboudumc said. 

Even a single dose of the medicine already seems to have an effect on the malaria parasite, according to the researchers. "Moreover, it is cheap to produce and stops the transfer of the malaria parasite from humans to mosquitos. With that, if it grows into a fully-fledged medicine, it can also contribute to the eradication of malaria."

The medicine is still a way away from the market. Clinical research must first be done to determine its safety and effective doses.