Search the GHTC website

In this regular feature on Breakthroughs, we highlight some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week.

July 24, 2023 by Hannah Sachs-Wetstone

Interested in more global health innovation news? Every week GHTC scours media reports worldwide to deliver essential global health R&D news and content to your inbox. Sign up now to receive our weekly R&D News Roundup email. 

Last month, Brazil became the first country in the world to introduce tafenoquine, the first new single-dose treatment for P. vivax malaria developed in 70 years. Tafenoquine, developed by GSK and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) in partnership with local researchers in Brazil, improves upon the previous treatments, which had major issues with adherence due to higher complexity and longer duration. The local Brazilian research partners also developed a new point-of-care test to identify a hereditary condition that can cause hemolytic anemia in those who take tafenoquine or one of the previous treatments, primaquine. After the approval and registration of tafenoquine in Brazil in 2019, field studies conducted over the last few years found extremely high levels of compliance with the new treatment protocol of routine testing to inform treatment, and similar feasibility studies are starting around the world, which will hopefully provide further evidence to improve global and national malaria guidelines and programs.

The world’s first trial for a potential treatment for Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever has launched in Turkey. There are currently no specific approved drugs or vaccines and limited funding for R&D for the virus, which was named a priority pathogen by the World Health Organization. It is endemic in many countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia and has a mortality rate as high as 40 percent. The phase 1 trial will test the safety and potential dosages of two different drugs in multiple combinations, hopefully leading to more advanced trials or at least initiating momentum for more research to address the virus.

This week, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a monoclonal antibody, Beyfortus, to protect infants and young children from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The single-injection antibody therapy, developed by AstraZeneca and marketed in the United States by Sanofi, showed strong results in phase 3 clinical trials. If the treatment gets a further recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the drug could greatly reduce hospitalizations and deaths caused by RSV, which is the leading cause of hospitalization of babies in the United States. Beyfortus, has already been licensed in the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Canada, and other technologies for RSV, including a vaccine for pregnant people are also aiming to reduce the global burden of the virus.

About the author

Hannah Sachs-WetstoneGHTC

Hannah supports advocacy and communications activities and member coordination for GHTC. Her role includes developing and disseminating digital communications, tracking member and policy news, engaging coalition members, and organizing meetings and events.Prior to joining GHTC, more about this author