19 Feb 2012

Malaria drug passes first clinical test

8:59 am on 19 February 2012

A malaria treatment that being developed with the help of a New Zealand laboratory has passed its first pre-clinical study.

The treatment was first developed at Industrial Research Ltd in Lower Hutt.

The company's principal scientist, Gary Evans, says the new treatment effectively starves to death the parasite responsible for malaria within seven days.

Dr Evans says hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved if the drug makes it through all the clinical trials.

He says the trials are still in the early stages and it could be years before the treatment is ready for human use.

Dr Evans says malaria kills about a million people worldwide each year.