Resurrecting old drugs for unmet medical needs—known more formally as drug repurposing—was an important message in the Nobel Prize for Medicine earlier this month. It came up today, too, with the intriguing study showing that the antiparasitic drug, ivermectin, appears promising for disrupting malaria transmission.
William Campbell, 85, and biochemist Satoshi Omura of Japan share half the prize for their work to develop ivermectin, a drug combating parasites that cause two debilitating diseases, river blindness and lymphatic filariasis. The award honors work that was done decades ago. In the intervening time, the drug has benefited hundreds of millions of people.