Malaria is one of the most severe tropical parasitic disease causing 1-3 million deaths annually. In the last 25 years very few new antimalarial molecules have been developed and only a limited number of them are currently in various stages of clinical development. The presently available antimalarial drugs include artemisinin analogs, quinoline derivatives and antifolates. This review summarizes recent advances in antimalarial drug development and world patents published between 2000-2006 claiming new synthetic antimalarial compounds and their activities. The most over-represented classes of compounds in malaria patent literature in order of frequency are artemisinin analogs, quinoline derivatives, DOXP reductoisomerase inhibitors, antifolates and febrifugine analogues. Many of these patents describe the novelty and potential of these synthetic derivatives with an attempt to identify the next generation antimalarials that may have potential commercial advantages.