Malaria is one of the most common infectious diseases in the world, causing great suffering and loss of life. The disease is preventable and treatable, yet it claims more than half a million lives each year. A massive thrust against malaria is required, given that the global climate is becoming warmer, leading to conditions that favour an increase in mosquito density. A rise in malaria cases can, therefore, be expected.
Based in a malaria endemic country, we could see what a terrible scourge malaria was. Therefore, we decided to commit our resources and expertise in R&D to develop a breakthrough molecule to treat this lethal disease that affected the people of numerous countries across the world, particularly in Asia and Africa.
In 2003, a critical research project was initiated by erstwhile Ranbaxy (now merged with Sun Pharma) with the aim to develop a new anti-malarial drug that addressed the challenges faced by conventional therapies like drug resistance, hill pill burden, price fluctuations and supply constraints.
Following eight years of research, scientists at Ranbaxy developed a next generation non-artemisinin drug that simplifies the treatment of malaria to an effective, once-daily tablet, three-day regimen. The drug, named SynriamTM, is India’s first New Chemical Entity. It comes at a time when malarial parasites are showing marked resistance to traditional treatments. With the introduction of SynriamTM, India has joined the elite and exclusive club of countries that have demonstrated their capability in developing a New Chemical Entity.
We are proud to being instrumental in bringing this medicine of great hope and believe SynriamTM will become the preferred option in the hands of doctors to fight malaria. The drug has been successfully launched in India. We have plans to introduce it in other malaria endemic zones, predominantly in the African, Asian and South American markets.
It is our hope that SynriamTM will be a part of the national programmes for malaria eradication, as it is one of the most economical drugs available for the treatment of this dreaded disease.
It may be difficult to eradicate malaria from the face of the earth in the near term. But it can be controlled through the combined efforts of the lay public, healthcare personnel, government agencies and pharmaceutical companies.