Three scientists from Ireland, Japan and China won the Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for discovering drugs against malaria and other parasitic diseases that affect hundreds of millions of people every year. The Nobel judges in Stockholm awarded the prestigious prize to Irish-born William Campbell, Satoshi Omura of Japan and Tu Youyou — the first-ever Chinese medicine laureate.
Campbell and Omura were cited for discovering avermectin, derivatives of which have helped lower the incidence of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, two diseases caused by parasitic worms that affect millions of people in Africa and Asia. Tu discovered artemisinin, a drug that has helped significantly reduce the mortality rates of malaria patients.
The Nobel committee said the winners, who are all in their 80s and made their breakthroughs in the 1970s and ‘80s, had given humankind powerful tools to combat debilitating diseases.
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