Research ArticleDrug Delivery

Oral, ultra–long-lasting drug delivery: Application toward malaria elimination goals

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Science Translational Medicine  16 Nov 2016:
Vol. 8, Issue 365, pp. 365ra157
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aag2374

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Toward malaria eradication

Although we know how to prevent malaria, we have failed to eliminate this damaging disease. To help the millions of individuals still affected around the world, Bellinger et al. have designed an easy-to-administer device that provides long-lasting delivery of an antimalarial drug. A star-shaped, drug-containing material is packaged into a capsule. When swallowed, the capsule dissolves in the stomach, and the star unfolds, assuming a shape that cannot pass further down the intestine. The star delivers a drug toxic to malaria-carrying mosquitoes for weeks but eventually falls apart and passes harmlessly out of the body. Modeling studies show that long-term delivery of this drug may move us closer to the elimination of this problematic disease by improving patient adherence to treatment.

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