Dr. James Schaller, MD
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Tafenoquine Use for Babesia Treatment

In 2006 I published a huge book, The Diagnosis and Treatment of Babesia, and mentioned some stunning positive findings about the malaria and Babesia drug Tafenoquine (WR238605). First, I mentioned it was profoundly long acting, appeared to fully cure malaria and Babesia, and have low side effects with a wide range of dosing. No resistance has been noted. In one study of 107 Thai solders getting approximately one 100 mg per week did not contract malaria. The only positively infected soldier had a profoundly low blood level. Currently GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), are working to complete human trials for this wonder drug. MMV is a not-for-profit public-private partnership in Switzerland in 1999, which brings public, private and philanthropic partners together to fund and manage the discovery, development and delivery of new medicines for the treatment and prevention of malaria.

MMV is funded by foundations, governments and corporations and now manages the largest portfolio of malaria medicine research in history, with nearly 40 projects underway at the end of 2008.

MMV subsidizes 30 scientists at GSK's as they are currently developing tafenoquine, as a new treatment for the radical cure of malaria.

What Do The Tafenoquine WR238605 Studies Show to Date?

Tafenoquine prevented infections by malaria in hamsters and also blood from infected hamsters treated with WR238605 via an intramuscular injection failed to infect naive hamsters which means it produced a full cure.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother.1997 Jan;41(1):91-4.Evaluation of selected antiprotozoal drugs in the Babesia microti-hamster model.Marley SE, Eberhard ML, Steurer FJ, Ellis WL, McGreevy PB, Ruebush TK 2nd.

Tafenoquine is meant to be as a more effective primaquine. In a study in Thailand, tafenoquine regimens with total doses ranging from 500 mg to 3000 mg prevented relapse of Plasmodium vivax malaria. They concluded tafenoquine doses as low as a single 600-mg dose may be useful for prevention of relapse of P. vivax malaria in Thailand.

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1994 Nov-Dec;88(6):691-2.

The efficacy of WR238605 was effective against the blood stages of a chloroquine resistant strain of Plasmodium vivax.

Cooper RD, Milhous WK, Rieckmann KH.

Army Malaria Research Unit, Liverpool Military Area, NSW, Australia.

Gen Pharmacol. 1992 Jan;23(1):19-25.

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1989 Mar;40(3):235-9.

In vitro activity of antimalarial compounds on the exoerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium cynomolgi and P. knowlesi.

Fisk TL, Millet P, Collins WE, Nguyen-Dinh P.

Primary cultures of Macaca mulatta hepatocytes infected with sporozoites of Plasmodium knowlesi, P. cynomolgi (Cambodian strain), and P. cynomolgi bastianellii were exposed in vitro to 7 antimalarial compounds. The number of exoerythrocytic schizonts present after 4-7 days of culture was used to assess the activity…. WR238605 [had] marked inhibition of schizont formation could be achieved at concentrations below those causing a cytotoxic effect on the host hepatocytes. Chloroquine had only minimal schizonticidal activity at a concentration that produced severe hepatocyte toxicity.

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