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International malaria research consortium tackles deadly disease
Date:10/26/2010

Toronto, Canada and New Delhi, India, October 27, 2010 -- Research teams from three academic institutions and two private sector companies on two continents have come together to form the International malaria research consortium for the development of novel classes of antimalarials. This bold initiative will develop novel classes of drugs against malaria, a deadly disease in desperate need of new treatments.

Malaria is one of humanities most devastating illnesses with an estimated 247 million cases worldwide in 2008 and almost one million deaths- mostly among children. In Africa a child dies every 45 seconds of Malaria and the disease accounts for 20% of all childhood deaths. Furthermore drug resistance is steadily undermining the effectiveness of existing treatments - driving the need for new therapies.

Each of the consortium's five partners brings unique capabilities spanning the spectrum from academic research to commercial development. They also bring their existing technologies to the table and have hit upon unique combinations of these existing technologies which, when combined with new drugs, represent entirely new approaches to treating and potentially eradicating this disease.

'It was a fascinating process to see different organizations with deep knowledge in their individual fields coming together and combining this knowledge to create innovative and new approaches to the treatment of this disease'' Prof. Virander Chauhan, Director, International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology-New Delhi

""Creative leverage" is a term that comes to mind in describing this program - in addition to developing new therapeutics, we are also bringing together existing technologies developed by the partners and combining them in new ways such that one will have the potential to boost the effectiveness of another." Dr. Lakshmi P. Kotra, Director, Center for Molecular Design and Preformulations, University Health
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Contact: Dr. Lakshmi P. Kotra
lkotra@uhnres.utoronto.ca
416-581-7601
University Health Network
Source:Eurekalert

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