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Tip of my hat to Glaxo

It is not often that I give praise to a drug company, but I will today. Glaxo Welcome Smith Kline (lot’s of merging in the drugs industry) has announced that it is making their database of 13,500 chemicals that have been shown to act against the plasmodium parasite (which causes malaria) publicly available. It is also making $8 millionĀ  (and research facilities) available to research scientists who have an interest in working with these compounds, with the aim of finding a cure for Malaria.

As many of you know Malaria is a hugely overlooked disease given the scale of it’s destruction. It is estimated that every year that there are up to 500 million reported cases of malaria. Of even greater concern, Malaria is thought to cause between two and three million deaths every year; these are mainly young children in Africa.

Although a lot of research has been carried out into combating malaria through mosquito control, stopping the plasmodium parasite, and through education, I feel that much more money should be spent on the fight against malaria given the deadly consequences of the disease.

For more information on Glaxo’s release of the 13,500 chemicals to the public domain, I recommend that you read this report in the guardian.