Global health R&D at work in Mississippi
The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy is working to make a common malaria drug safer. Primaquine is an inexpensive drug that is highly effective against malaria. However, people with a certain enzyme deficiency can have a life-threatening reaction to the drug. This deficiency is common in regions where malaria is found, so many public health programs are reluctant to use primaquine. If the researchers can alter the drug to stop the reaction, it could be used more widely. Malaria infects more than 200 million people each year, killing almost half a million, most of whom are young children.