A Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Study of Eurartesim Dispersible Formulation in Infants With P. falciparum malaria

A Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Study of Eurartesim Dispersible Formulation in Infants With P. falciparum malaria


The aim of this study is to provide data on pharmacokinetic profile, safety and efficacy of this new paediatric formulation and compare it with the crushed film coated tablet in infant patients (6 to ≤12 months of age) suffering from uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

Furthermore, a Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic(PK/PD) modelling will be built up to establish PK/PD relationship in adult and paediatric populations.

PI Institution(s)

Principal Investigator (PI)

Funding source(s)



Although the significant advances made during the last decades in controlling malaria in Africa, morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan countries remain substantial. It is estimated that around 655.000 deaths a year still occur due to malaria infection and the majority of such deaths occur among young African children.

In response to the emergence and spread of classical drug-resistant Plasmodia strains, the WHO recommends since 2004 the use of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) in the treatment of uncomplicated malaria episodes. The artemisinin derivatives are currently the most rapidly acting and potent antimalarial drugs.

Eurartesim is a fixed-dose combination product composed of dihydroartemisinin (DHA) and piperaquine phosphate (PQP). This second compound assures the long-term efficacy of eurartesim completing the whole body cleaning from the parasites. Eurartesim appears to offer benefits over existing licensed malaria treatments and is in line with current WHO treatment policy recommendations.

Eurartesim obtained a centralized marketing authorization by the European Union as film-coated tablets containing 160 mg PQP/20 mg DHA and 320 mg PQP/40 mg DHA. The drug, licensed for its use in children (above 6 months of age) and adults has been administered in infants (above 6 months) and young children by crushing the tablets and administering them with a small amount of water.

According to the Guidelines on Clinical Investigation of Medicinal Products in the Paediatric Population (EMA ICH Topic E 11), there is a need for paediatric formulations that permit accurate dosing and enhance patient compliance.

However, for the treatment of malaria, scarce paediatric-friendly formulations are available on the market, and this is a particularly blatant problem as young children carry the brunt of the malaria burden. Thus, a new water dispersible formulation of eurartesim has been developed for oral administration, since liquid formulations may be needed or desirable for paediatric patients of smaller ages due to their inability to swallow tablets. Moreover, in order to increase paediatric compliance to treatment, the new formulation is prepared with acceptable flavour and sweetener for children.

Eurartesim is a promising effective ACT treatment for malaria. It provides a simple dosing scheme (a single daily dose over 3 days) and it does not need any concomitant administration of food to improve its absorption. Moreover, eurartesim offers an interesting post-treatment prophylactic effect following therapy, reducing the risk of new infection, an issue of particular relevance in highly endemic malaria countries.

A Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Study of Eurartesim Dispersible Formulation in Infants With P. Falciparum Malaria

Key facts

  • Dates
    Nov 2013 to Jul 2015
    • Congo, the Democratic Republic of the
    • Tanzania, United Republic of
    • Mozambique
    • Burkina Faso
    • Gambia

MESA tags

  • Methodology
    Operational research, Product development & clinical research
    Drug-based strategies, Impact of interventions, Vulnerable populations