A team of scientists from Australia, England, Switzerland, and the United
States has created a new class of synthetic antimalaria drug that could provide
a new weapon against drug-resistant malaria (Nature.
The drug is based on artemisinin, a traditional Chinese herbal remedy
that is extracted from sweet wormwood. Artemisinin derivatives such as artensunate
and artemether already have an increasingly important role in treating drug-resistant
malaria. But their use has been limited because they require an expensive
extraction process that makes them too costly for developing countries and
because many patients have difficulty complying with the course of treatment.
Stephenson J. New Drug for Malaria?. JAMA. 2004;292(11):1294. doi:10.1001/jama.292.11.1294-c