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1In a significant breakthrough, scientists have successfully produced and lab tested a drug candidate to control 2 of India’s most lethal diseases- Malaria and Tuberculosis.

Delhi biologists and investigators have found that the peptide molecule, M5, can reduce the load of these diseases by over 80%. Not only does the molecule restrain the entry of pathogens into our cells in case of TB and malaria but it also works against drug resistant strains of the latter which is a cause of Plasmodium falciparum parasite.

The team comprises of members from Delhi’s International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, AIIMS and JNU.

Speaking to media, the investigators said that their next step would be to test this molecule in malaria-infected mice and see the results.

They acknowledged that although the drug candidate has been found effective, it would take several more years of continuous research and modifications before they come up with a common drug to fight malaria and TB with the M5. They said how the team targeted a human protein instead of pathogenic proteins. Hence, unlike other drugs, pathogens shall not become immune to the M5 in just a few years.

These findings by the team have been published in the journal, Nature Communications.

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