New drugs against malaria are greatly needed. Many approaches to antimalarial drug discovery are available. These approaches must take into account specific concerns, in particular the requirement for very inexpensive and simple to use new therapies and the need to limit the cost of drug discovery. Among important efforts that are currently ongoing are the optimization of therapy with available drugs, including the use of combination therapy, the development of analogs of existing agents, the discovery of natural products, the use of compounds that were originally developed against other diseases, the evaluation of drug resistance reversers, and the consideration of new chemotherapeutic targets. The last category benefits from recent advances in malaria research technologies and genomics and is most likely to identify new classes of drugs. A number of new antimalarial therapies will likely be needed over the coming years, so it is important to pursue multiple strategies for drug discovery.
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