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In the largest study of its kind, a team of researchers led by MORU and WWARN in Bangkok developed a pharmacokinetic model that enabled a revised dose regimen to safely treat all malaria patients including young children with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP), a widely used antimalarial and a first-line treatment against malaria recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Scientist in a lab at a computer
Pharmacokinetic Laboratory, Bangkok. Credit: Joss Dimock, Wellcome Images

Bangkok, 16 Jan 2017 – In the largest study of its kind, a team of researchers led by MORU and WWARN in Bangkok developed a pharmacokinetic model that enabled a revised dose regimen to safely treat all malaria patients including young children with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP), a widely used antimalarial and a first-line treatment against malaria recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Results from the study, published in PLOS Medicine, have already been used by the WHO expert review panel’s decision to update its Guidelines for the treatment of malaria.

“It’s crucial to develop optimised dosing regimens to ensure appropriate drug exposure in all patient groups,” says Prof Joel Tarning, senior author of the study and Head of Clinical Pharmacology at MORU. “This revised dose regimen of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine is intended to provide equivalent piperaquine exposures safely in all patients, including in small children with malaria. It’s an important step towards giving all patients an equal chance of cure.”

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