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combating insufficient anti-malarial stocks with new technologies and a new drug

Prof Dianna Bowles, Centre for Novel Agricultural Production, University of York
Dr Philippe Desjeux, Institute for OneWorld Health, San Francisco
Dr Ian Bathurst, Medicines for Malaria Venture, Geneva

Malaria is still a major global health problem, killing up to one million people every year, most of them young children. The World Health Organization recommends artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs), as the most effective treatments available today. Artemisinin is extracted from a plant and production is expensive, lead times are long and supplies are unreliable. Furthermore, demand is expected to significantly outstrip supply over the next few years. A report being launched today at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Malaria discusses using molecular plant breeding, GM microbes and a new synthetic drug in order to prevent this global problem. Leading scientists in the field came to the SMC to discuss these issues and the feasibility of new treatments.

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