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

October 24, 2022 by Hannah Sachs-Wetstone

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Regulators in Zimbabwe have approved long-acting injectable cabotegravir, (CAB-LA), making the country the first in Africa and the third in the world (after Australia and the United States) to approve the drug. The World Health Organization (WHO) called the approval a “crucial step” and noted that it would support the implementation and distribution of the prevention method in the country to maximize impact. WHO previously issued a recommendation for CAB-LA in July that cited its high efficacy in reducing HIV transmission among high-risk individuals.

A research team from the University of Cape Town published new findings showing evidence that a cancer drug currently in clinical trials has shown potential in protecting from, curing, and preventing malaria transmission. The investigational drug, sapanisertib, acts by killing the human malaria parasite in the liver, the human host red blood cell, and when it divides sexually within the host red blood cells. This is an incredibly significant finding as the drug exhibits a novel mechanism of action as well as activity against multiple stages of the parasite life cycle. Further research could lead to the development of a critically needed novel malaria drug that contributes to malaria control and elimination efforts as well as addresses drug resistance.

The United States provided Gilead Sciences’ antiviral, remdesivir, and Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc’s experimental antibody drug, MBP134, to Uganda in an effort to help prevent further cases and deaths in the outbreak, which is now the largest outbreak of the Sudan strain of Ebola in over 20 years. Both Ugandan and US government officials noted the need for treatment to protect the lives of health care workers, which is a key step in containment.  

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