WHO researchers start trial on a new drug for river blindness

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 09 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2755
  1. Nayanah Siva
  1. 1London

    Researchers at the World Health Organization are to begin a clinical trial in three African countries for a new drug, moxidectin, in the hope of eliminating river blindness.

    River blindness, onchocerciasis, is one of the most devastating parasitic diseases, prevalent in many African countries, and is transmitted by the blackfly, which breeds in fast flowing rivers. Currently, the disease is controlled by the drug ivermectin, which has been donated to countries where onchocerciasis is endemic for the past 20 years by the pharmaceutical company Merck.

    “Ivermectin is a time tested, safe drug for the community in general,” …

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