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Conquering Malaria

PSU chemistry professor David Peyton modified an early malaria drug to create a newly potent weapon against this deadly disease.

The idea seemed so simple that PSU chemistry professor David Peyton couldn't believe no one else had thought of it.

For many years, Chloroquine was considered a miracle drug in treating malaria until the disease developed a resistance. Rather than abandon Chloroquine, Peyton wondered if researchers could simply reverse the resistance process. The work of Peyton's team led to a group of Chloroquine hybrids now in development, with demonstrated efficacy in mice.

David Peyton

Peyton's approach led to DesignMedix, a start-up company that specializes in rapid and low-cost approaches to fighting drug-resistant diseases, such as malaria, that have decimated impoverished nations worldwide.

With funding from the National Institutes of Health and angel investors, the company signals the commercial potential for technologies developed at Portland State—a growing part of PSU's $1.4 billion annual economic impact.

DesignMedix is housed in the Portland State Business Accelerator (PSBA), the region's leading technology incubator and home to two dozen technology and science companies.

Through partnerships with the Portland Development Commission, OHSU, and connections to the investor community, the PSBA offers affordable space, business development support, and faculty expertise to startup companies.

Established in 2004, PSBA companies have enjoyed an 84% success rate (compared to an industry-average 20%). In the past five years, these companies have attracted $106.8 million in private capital and another $11 million in public grant funding, while creating jobs for the region and opportunities for PSU students.

Department of Chemistry's David Peyton:
Portland State Business Accelerator:


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