Brazil finishes another phase of study on more efficient treatment for Malaria

Publicação: 5 de June de 2015

The results of the research on Tafenoquine should only be released by the end of the essays in the other involved countries


Doctors Marcus Lacerda and Andre Siqueira represented the BSTM in the Fifth INternational Conference of Research on P. vivax Malaria, that took place in Indonesia last May

The results of a new option to treat malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax should be available to patients until 2017. Tafenoquine, a single-dose drug could change the paradigm of disease combat. The drug study, which already lasts for over a decade, is already in its final phase and is currently conducted in Bangladesh, Peru, Thailand and Brazil. Here, the enrollment phase was finished and now begins the patient monitoring.

“Drugs in final development phase, as Tafenoquine, are a hope to eliminate this kind of malaria, because it is a radical cure with only one pill. This makes the treatment much easier for the patient, who currently have to take the medication for 7 days”, explains Dr. Marcus Lacerda, in charge of the researches in Brazil, through the Amazonas Tropical Medicine Foundation (FMT-HVD). Currently the treatment against malaria is a combined therapy involving two drugs: chloroquine and primaquine.

The third phase of a clinical study is the last step before registration and authorization to market the medication – there is still a fourth step, ran when the drug is already in the market. Some 200 patients joined this phase of tafenoquine analysis in Brazil. At all the treatment is applied in 3 to 7 days, followed by a 6-month monitoring for the evaluation of the clinical response.

The essay is conducted by ONG Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In the Amazon, the P. vivax parasite is responsible for 85% of the malaria cases, and Brazil responds for 52% of all malaria cases reported in the Americas, according to the last report from the World Health Organization (WHO).

International conference

The progress of the researches in Tafenoquine use were presented during the Fifth International Conference of Research on Plasmodium vivax Malar, that took place in May, in Bali, Indonesia. Doctors Marcus Lacerda and Andre Siqueira represented the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine (BSTM) in the event.

Besides presenting the results obtained during the phase II, which established the dose of 300mg of the drug as adequate for the following phases, the research portfolio was updated, including the in-course phase III – “in which the exceptional performance of the FMT-HVD in recruiting patients was highlighted”, according to Dr. Andre.

The results should only be available and released by next year, since the patients are monitored for 6 months. Other phases include the study on Tafenoquine use by patients with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD) and studies among pediatric populations – the latter is still in planning stage.

Brazil hosts event in 2017

The next international conference about the theme will take place in the first half of 2017, in Manaus. According to Dr. Andre, the choice of the city to host the event expresses the acknowledgment of the relevance and quality of the research conducted by the Brazilian Tropical Medicine community and, regarding the clinical essays on anti-malaria drugs, a special role of Amazonas State. The event should focus in new treatment modalities and P. vivax control, already with the results of the Tafenoquine phase III.…