A mosquito-repellent soap invented by a young African engineer is at the centre of a campaign to eradicate malaria in the developing world.

The soap, which has been developed by social start-up business Faso Soap based in Burkina Faso in West Africa, contains a blend of naturally-occurring essential oils and repels mosquitoes for at least six hours after use, according to its creators. The project, which won the  Global Social Venture Competition at UC Berkeley in 2013, was developed by the young engineer while he was at ITECH, a French engineering school based in Lyon which provided support in the creation of the first prototypes of the soap and worked on improvements to its smells and feel.

Gérard Niyondiko, the founder of Faso Soap, who has been raising funds to take the project onto its next stage, said. “Not only is it a stable product but it is something that people use every day in Africa. Soap is used to wash both bodies and clothes and is one of the few products to be in 95% of African households. “It is now time to move funding from the lab to commercial operations and finalise the most efficient formula against mosquitoes transmitting malaria.” The soap is part of the company’s ‘100,000 Lives’ campaign that aims to save 100,000 people from malaria by the end of 2018 by putting mosquito-repellent soap in the hands of Africa’s most vulnerable people.

Encouraging results

US firm Aytu BioScience,  a healthcare company focused on urological and related conditions, has observed encouraging data from two studies of its MiOXSYS System as a tool for measuring oxidation-reduction potential to assess the degree of oxidative stress levels in human semen. Oxidative stress has been implicated as a major cause of male infertility.

The right berry

New research from the University of Agriculture in Krakow, Poland, says that people in Central Europe looking for superfoods high in healthy antioxidant-rich foods should opt for black raspberries. Antioxidants are beneficial to humans as they prohibit, or prevent the oxidation of molecules in the body, protecting against free radicals, which according to the researchers  are closely linked with heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke, or respiratory diseases.

Drug go-ahead

French company InFlectis BioScience has been granted orphan drug designation by the European Commission for the drug IFB-088, also known as Sephin1, used in the treatment of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). The decision provides incentives for the development of IFB-088, including assistance in the development of clinical protocols and an exclusive ten-year marketing period in European Union. CMT is a common inherited  neurological disorder that effects the peripheral nerves, causing progressive weakness of the limbs, muscle wasting, deformities, and loss of sensation