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n. (context medicine English) A particular antimalarial agent that is a derivative of a halogenated phenanthrene


Halofantrine is a drug used to treat malaria. Halofantrine's structure contains a substituted phenanthrene, and is related to the antimalarial drugs quinine and lumefantrine. Marketed as Halfan, halofantrine is never used to prevent malaria and its mode of action is unknown, although a crystallographic study showed that it binds to hematinin vitro, suggesting a possible mechanism of action. Halofantrine has also been shown to bind to plasmpesin, a haemoglobin degrading enzyme unique to the malarial parasites.

Halofantrine was developed at SRI International for the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research from 1965 to 1975 by a team led by medicinal chemist William Colwell.