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Launch of semi-synthetic artemisinin a milestone for malaria, synthetic biology

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Apr 11th, 2013

Launch of semi-synthetic artemisinin a milestone for malaria, synthetic biology

(Nanowerk News) Twelve years after a breakthrough discovery in his University of California, Berkeley, laboratory, professor of chemical engineering Jay Keasling is seeing his dream come true.
On April 11, the pharmaceutical company Sanofi will launch the large-scale production of a partially synthetic version of artemisinin, a chemical critical to making today’s front-line antimalaria drug, based on Keasling’s discovery.read more at nanowerk

http://www.nanowerk.com/news2/biotech/newsid=29955.php

The “semi-synthetic” artemisinin is chemically modified to an active drug, such as artesunate, and combined in ACT with another antimalarial drug to lessen the chance that the malaria parasite will develop resistance to artemisinin. Sanofi plans to produce 35 tons of artemisinin in 2013 and, on average, 50 to 60 tons a year by 2014, which will translate to between 80 and 150 million ACT treatments.

Sweet wormwood was used in ancient Chinese therapy to treat various illnesses, including fevers typical of malaria. In the 1970s, Chinese scientists rediscovered it and identified its active ingredient, artemisinin, and artemisinin is now extracted from sweet wormwood grown commercially in China, Southeast Asia and Africa. The quality, supply and cost have been unpredictable and inconsistent, however. Keasling’s goal was to create a synthetic version with a stable and ideally lower price that could be produced in sufficient quantity to treat the 300-500 million cases of malaria that arise each year.

Sanofi and OneWorld Health, the not-for-profit drug development affiliate of the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), have launched a commercial-scale production line for semisynthetic artemisinin, a move they say is “a pivotal milestone in the fight against malaria”.

Global demand for artemisinin is the most effective malaria treatment available but the existing botanical supply – which is derived from the sweet wormwood plant – is inconsistent. Therefore, Sanofi says that having “multiple sources of high-quality artemisinin will strengthen the artemisinin supply chain, contribute to a more stable price and ultimately ensure greater availability of treatment”.

The company notes that the production line at its facility in Garessio, Italy, will be able to produce enough artemisinin, using technology developed by US firm Amyris, for around 80-150 million artemisinin-based combination therapies by 2014.

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3 Comments

  1. Dr. Mandar Surpur says:

    That’s indeed a great milestone to share, this discovery will be of immense use

  2. medchemnintabelle says:

    Reblogged this on medchemnintabelle.

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DR ANTHONY CRASTO

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DR ANTHONY MELVIN CRASTO Ph.D

DR ANTHONY MELVIN CRASTO Ph.D

DR ANTHONY MELVIN CRASTO, Born in Mumbai in 1964 and graduated from Mumbai University, Completed his Ph.D from ICT, 1991,Matunga, Mumbai, India, in Organic Chemistry, The thesis topic was Synthesis of Novel Pyrethroid Analogues, Currently he is working with GLENMARK PHARMACEUTICALS LTD, Research Centre as Principal Scientist, Process Research (bulk actives) at Mahape, Navi Mumbai, India. Total Industry exp 30 plus yrs, Prior to joining Glenmark, he has worked with major multinationals like Hoechst Marion Roussel, now Sanofi, Searle India Ltd, now RPG lifesciences, etc. He has worked with notable scientists like Dr K Nagarajan, Dr Ralph Stapel, Prof S Seshadri, Dr T.V. Radhakrishnan and Dr B. K. Kulkarni, etc, He did custom synthesis for major multinationals in his career like BASF, Novartis, Sanofi, etc., He has worked in Discovery, Natural products, Bulk drugs, Generics, Intermediates, Fine chemicals, Neutraceuticals, GMP, Scaleups, etc, he is now helping millions, has 9 million plus hits on Google on all Organic chemistry websites. His friends call him Open superstar worlddrugtracker. His New Drug Approvals, Green Chemistry International, All about drugs, Eurekamoments, Organic spectroscopy international, etc in organic chemistry are some most read blogs He has hands on experience in initiation and developing novel routes for drug molecules and implementation them on commercial scale over a 30 year tenure till date Dec 2017, Around 35 plus products in his career. He has good knowledge of IPM, GMP, Regulatory aspects, he has several International patents published worldwide . He has good proficiency in Technology transfer, Spectroscopy, Stereochemistry, Synthesis, Polymorphism etc., He suffered a paralytic stroke/ Acute Transverse mylitis in Dec 2007 and is 90 %Paralysed, He is bound to a wheelchair, this seems to have injected feul in him to help chemists all around the world, he is more active than before and is pushing boundaries, He has 9 million plus hits on Google, 2.5 lakh plus connections on all networking sites, 50 Lakh plus views on dozen plus blogs, He makes himself available to all, contact him on +91 9323115463, email amcrasto@gmail.com, Twitter, @amcrasto , He lives and will die for his family, 90% paralysis cannot kill his soul., Notably he has 19 lakh plus views on New Drug Approvals Blog in 216 countries......https://newdrugapprovals.wordpress.com/ , He appreciates the help he gets from one and all, Friends, Family, Glenmark, Readers, Wellwishers, Doctors, Drug authorities, His Contacts, Physiotherapist, etc

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