AstraZeneca is working with partners such as MMV and AMREF to fight Malaria and some, of the company’s scientists have been writing about their experience in doing this. Nikhil Rautela, is a Research Associate at AstraZeneca in Bangalore, and writes:
My name is Nikhil and I am a Research Associate at AstraZeneca’s R&D unit in Bangalore, India. Working as a Research Associate, I test compounds from the AZ library for their activity against the malaria causing parasite which is grown in our laboratory in Bangalore. It is a very exciting time to be working for AstraZeneca and with our partners on this project where the concerted efforts are looking immensely positive.
World Malaria Day holds a special value to me and reminds me of the task ahead that we all have to eradicate a disease that has been affecting us for years. I was brought up in a region which is endemic to the disease; every year you hear tragic stories of how it has affected people’s lives. Also, having personally suffered from malaria myself, it gives me a sense of deep involvement that I represent AstraZeneca in a partnership with the Medicines for Malaria Venture which is one of the very few collaborations that work on malaria and shares the same passion that I have towards fighting the disease.
Although the disease has been eradicated from most of the developed countries, it still remains the second highest killer in the world. The biggest challenge has been early evolvement of resistance to every drug available which highlights the need for new drugs. The past few years have seen a renewed effort to tackle the disease head-on through constructive collaboration – one that I am part of. A united effort with partners through sharing of experiences and information is already bearing fruit by upping the pace of drug discovery.