Monday, October 5, 2015

Nobel Prize in Medicine 2015

The Nobel Prize for medicine has been jointly awarded this year to three scientists for their work on parasitic diseases.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015 was divided, one half jointly to William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura "for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites" and the other half to Youyou Tu "for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria".

Campbell and Omura discovered a new drug, Avermectin, the derivatives of which "have radically lowered the incidence of River Blindness and Lymphatic Filariasis, Today the Avermectin-derivative Ivermectin is used in all parts of the world that are plagued by parasitic diseases," the Nobel Assembly said.   "The importance of Ivermectin for improving the health and wellbeing of millions of individuals with River Blindness and Lymphatic Filariasis, primarily in the poorest regions of the world, is immeasurable. Treatment is so successful that these diseases are on the verge of eradication."

Youyou Tu is honored for tackling malaria using traditional herbal medicine. Using the plant Artemisia annua, she discovered a purification procedure that rendered an active agent called Artemisinin, the Nobel Assembly said.
"Artemisinin represents a new class of antimalarial agents that rapidly kill the Malaria parasites at an early stage of their development, which explains its unprecedented potency in the treatment of severe Malaria," the assembly said.

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