London, May 20 (ANI): Scientists have identified thousands of potential new drugs to fight malaria by the mass-screening of chemicals.
The international research team, led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators, released data detailing the effectiveness of nearly 310,000 chemicals against a malaria parasite that remains one of the world's leading killers of young children.
The research discovered more than 1,100 new compounds with confirmed activity against the malaria parasite. Of those, 172 were studied in detail, leading to identification of almost two dozen families of molecules investigators consider possible candidates for drug development.
St. Jude researchers already used one of the molecules to stop the parasite's growth in mice.
The six-year malaria project was launched by R. Kiplin Guy, St. Jude Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics chair, in an effort to revive malaria drug development.
The database includes the chemical structure and activity profile of each of the 309,474 molecules in the St. Jude library of drugs, natural compounds and other chemicals. There is additional information about the 172 compounds that were more comprehensively evaluated. The compounds are all commercially available.
The study appears in the May 20 edition of the scientific journal Nature. (ANI)