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GSK recalls malaria drugs

GlaxoSmithKline has halted all further development of malaria drug Dacart after the clinical trails revealed it causes series health complications.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has halted all further development of malaria drug Dacart after the clinical trails revealed it causes series health complications.

A trial involving 892 patients showed that Dacart and Lapdap, a GSK malaria drug available on the Kenyan market, significantly reduced the amount of haemoglobin.

As well as calling a halt to continued Dacart development programmes, GSK has announced that Lapdap will be recalled at the pharmacy level in Kenya.

Dr Arata Kochi, director of the Global Malaria Program for the World Health Organisation (WHO), said: "GSK has acted responsibly in taking action to withdraw Lapdap from the market and to discontinue any further development of medicines based on this compound."

Efforts to combat malaria through the use of medication are being coordinated through a partnership involving GSK and the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV).

Kochi said: "We therefore commend the display of integrity on the part of GSK, an important pharmaceutical collaborator, and its partner organisation MMV, and welcome this spirit of honesty and transparency."

GSK will gather and publish all data pertaining to the clinical trias and says it will continue to work and develop drugs to combat malaria.

Dr Lynn Marks, senior vice president of the GSK Medicines Development Centre for Infectious Diseases, said: "This news is extremely disappointing and highlights the high-risk, complex nature of pharmaceutical R&D."

Dr Tim Wells, chief scientific officer of MMV, said: "The tough decision to halt the development of Dacart was driven by quality data demonstrating that the MMV-GSK partnership puts patients first."

29th February 2008

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