With the rapidly spreading resistance of Plasmodium falciparum
to available non-artemisinin antimalarial drugs, new and novel pharmaceuticals are needed. ARCO®
is a new generation ACT, one of several artemisinin-based combinations developed in China to counter antimalarial drug resistance. ARCO®
is a derivative of two independently developed antimalarials, artemisinin and naphthoquine phosphate, which were combined to form the artemisinin-naphthoquine combination. Both artemisinin and naphthoquine drugs have proven to be efficacious, safe and well tolerated as monotherapies. The artemisinin-naphthoquine combination offers a novel advantage over existing ACTs: it can be administered as a single oral dose (or a 1-day treatment). Several therapeutic studies conducted recently indicate that a single oral dose administration of artemisinin-naphthoquine combination is equally effective and safe as the 3-day treatment with artemether-lumefantrine combination and other existing ACTs. This would make ARCO®
the next generation ACT for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria.