First antimalarial drug in 18 years

First antimalarial drug in 18 years

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the first antimalarial drug in nearly 20 years. The drug, called ARAKODA (tafenoquine) is for the prevention of malaria in patients aged 18 and over. It has the potential to protect thousands of travellers from the disease.

Tafenoquine was originally discovered by scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and its approval was based on an effort to develop tafenoquine as a weekly prophylactic drug for the prevention of malaria. The approval was recently announced by 60 Degrees Pharmaceuticals (60P).

“We have worked closely with the US Army as their commercial partners to bring ARAKODA to the US market,” said Dr Geoffrey Dow, CEO of 60P. “ARAKODA provides effective protection against both of the major types of malaria (P. vivax and P. falciparum), killing the parasites in both the blood and liver. This provides the travel medicine community the option to prescribe an anti-malarial which provides protection in a large spectrum of malaria hot zones while utilising what is considered by many physicians to be a more compliant dosing regimen. ARAKODA is a significant addition to the armamentarium for the prevention of malaria.”