Sanofi and PATH Announce Large-Scale Production Line of Semisynthetic Artemisinin
According to an April 11 press release, Sanofi and PATH's Drug Development program have announced the launch of large-scale production line of semisynthetic artemisinin. The large-scale production line will be launched at Sanofi's Garessio site in Italy.
World Health Organization's revelation about high effectiveness of artemisinin-based combination therapies in treating malaria has triggered a global demand for artemisinin. This semisynthetic route will enable a more consistent supply than to the botanical supply of artemisinin.
It is a triumph for malaria treatment as synthetic version of the world's most effective anti-malarial drug, artemisinin, can now be made in just three weeks instead of 18 months.
Scientists have reported that despite the success of artemisinin, the malaria parasite is developing resistance to it. They said that combination of artemisinin with other drugs is a way to battle the resistance development against drugs.
The commercial-scale alternative manufacturing process to produce artermisnin began nine year ago. OneWorld Health, a nonprofit drug-development organization, led the partnership that established PATH's Drug Development program.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded the organization to produce low price drugs for developing countries. The project was built upon synthetic biology work by Dr. Jay Keasling at the University of California, Berkeley. It also involved a team of public and private partners, including Sanofi and synthetic biology innovator Amyris.