Coartem(reg) (artemether-lumefantrine) most effective malaria treatment in areas of high resistance to conventional anti-malarials
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and public health, from Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi and University of Oxford, UK. "Millions of lives can be saved through swift and decisive action that bridges the gap between enormous public demand and the realities of commercial supply for artemether-lumefantrine and other ACTs."

Novartis communicated its 2006 production goal of 120 million treatments to leading representatives of the WHO, the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, African health ministries and other key stakeholders in the battle against malaria at its annual Coartem Advisory Board meeting held last month in Dakar, Senegal.

About Coartem

Coartem is a highly effective and well tolerated anti-malarial that achieves cure rates of up to 95%, even in areas of multi-drug resistance. It is indicated for the treatment of falciparum malaria, the most dangerous form of malaria. Coartem is the only pre-qualified, fixed-dose ACT combining artemether, an artemisinin derivative, and lumefantrine. This fixed-dose combination is of great benefit to patients as it facilitates treatment compliance and supports optimal clinical effectiveness.

Artemisinin is a compound extracted from the sweet wormwood plant and has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat fever. An artemisinin-based combination therapy is a combination of two or more drugs (one of which is an artemisinin derivative) with different modes of action and different targets. Studies have shown that using two or more drugs in combination has the potential to delay the development of resistance in areas of low transmission. Artemisinin-based combination therapies in particular have been found to be highly effective treatments for malaria and their potential to delay resistance in areas of intense transmission is under investigation.

Coartem was co-developed by Novartis in collaboration with Chinese partners who also supply the active ingredients (artemether and lumefantrine).