No more anti-malaria pills?

Could anti-malaria pills be a thing of the past? Eastland Medical Systems is approved to go ahead with testing their ArTiMistTM anti-malarial spray. The spray, which is delivered under the tongue, is based on the drug Artemether.

Artemether is actually a modification of a thousand-year-old malarial remedy from ancient China called Artemesinin, which is produced from the Artemisia annua shrub and was used by Chinese herbalists to treat fevers.

Fresh from successful trials in Malaysia, the next phase involves determining the of number of doses required for protection. This would allow an easier, more hygienic and transportable weapon in the war on malaria, for use in even the remotest parts of Africa. This might also mean an end to the concept of orally taking malarial pills for protection.

Eastland CEO Dermot Patterson said, “The commencement of the multi dose trial moves the company and its global group closer to market entry for ArTiMistTM in line with the company’s projections for 2008.”