Fighting resistant malaria – the importance of bonding

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FAU scientists are researching the superiority of hybrid medicines

Drug-resistant malaria parasites are on the rise. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that hybrid compounds of existing medicines may provide a more effective way of treating the disease. They have published their findings in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

As malaria parasites are increasingly becoming resistant to the medicines currently used, such as chloroquine, the World Health Organisation (WHO) usually recommends treating malaria with a combination of artemisinin, extracted from the sweet wormwood plant, and one other antimalarial drug.

Prof. Dr. Svetlana B. Tsogoeva, professor of Organic Chemistry at the FAU, in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Lutz Ackermann of University of Göttingen and Prof. Dr. Jigang Wang of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, has now demonstrated that hybrids consisting of two chemically bonded malaria medicines are effectively able to kill drug-resistant malaria parasites and more efficiently than the individual medicines or a combination thereof. Both active substances which are linked in one hybrid molecule enter the parasite at the same time. As a result, they can bind simultaneously to different target proteins, launching a two-pronged and more effective attack on the disease.

Further information on Prof. Tsogoeva’s research projects.

Further information:

Prof. Dr. Svetlana B. Tsogoeva
phone: + 49 9131 85 65573