The ANC congratulates the Department of Science and Technology and the Drug Discovery and Development Centre of the University of Cape Town on the announcement on 28 August of the breakthrough regarding an antimalaria drug candidate compound. This is the first time that a modern pharmaceutical drug discovery has been achieved on African soil. The recently discovered compound, from the aminopyridine class, not only has the potential to become part of a single-dose cure for all strains of malaria, but might also be able to block transmission of the parasite from person to person.
This is according to a research collaboration involving the Medicines for Malaria Venture, based in Switzerland, and the Drug Discovery and Development Centre at the University of Cape Town. On the basis of the initial results, it has been selected by the MMV for further development.
The candidate molecule is novel, potent and has the potential to have a significant impact on global malaria control and eradication. The discovery was announced as a significant victory in the battle to alleviate the burden of the disease in Africa and has been described in one bulletin as "South Africa's gift to Africa". Our congratulations also go to Prof Kelly Chibale and his team.