Sanofi and PATH Launch Semisynthetic Artemisinin Production - Pharmaceutical Technology

Latest Issue
PharmTech

Latest Issue
PharmTech Europe

Sanofi and PATH Launch Semisynthetic Artemisinin Production


Sanofi and PATH’s Drug Development program announced the launch of the large-scale production line of semisynthetic artemisinin at Sanofi’s Garessio site in Italy, according to an April 11, 2013 press release. Global demand for artemisinin, the key ingredient of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), has increased since the World Health Organization identified ACTs as the most effective malaria treatment available. This semisynthetic route will allow a more consistent supply compared to the botanical supply of artemisinin.

Development of a new, commercial-scale alternative manufacturing process to produce artemisinin started nine years ago. The partnership is led by OneWorld Health, a nonprofit drug-development organization that established PATH’s Drug Development program and is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project built upon pioneering synthetic biology work by Dr. Jay Keasling at the University of California, Berkeley and involved a team of public and private partners, including Sanofi and synthetic biology innovator Amyris. The no-profit, no-loss production model helps maintain a low price for developing countries.

In the commercial process, Huvepharma in Bulgaria produces artemisinic acid through fermentation, followed by a synthetic transformation of the artemisinic acid into artemisinin via photochemistry, which will be performed at Sanofi’s Garessio site. Sanofi plans to produce 35 tons of artemisinin in 2013 and, on average, 50 to 60 tons per year by 2014, which corresponds to between 80 and 150 million ACT treatments.

ADVERTISEMENT

blog comments powered by Disqus
LCGC E-mail Newsletters

Subscribe: Click to learn more about the newsletter
| Weekly
| Monthly
|Monthly
| Weekly

Survey
FDASIA was signed into law two years ago. Where has the most progress been made in implementation?
Reducing drug shortages
Breakthrough designations
Protecting the supply chain
Expedited reviews of drug submissions
More stakeholder involvement
Reducing drug shortages
70%
Breakthrough designations
4%
Protecting the supply chain
17%
Expedited reviews of drug submissions
2%
More stakeholder involvement
7%
View Results
Eric Langerr Outsourcing Outlook Eric LangerRelationship-building at Top of Mind for Clients
Cynthia Challener, PhD Ingredients Insider Cynthia ChallenerRisk Reduction Top Driver for Biopharmaceutical Raw Material Development
Jill Wechsler Regulatory Watch Jill Wechsler Changes and Challenges for Generic Drugs
Faiz Kermaini Industry Insider Faiz KermainiNo Signs of a Slowdown in Mergers
CMOs and the Track-and-Trace Race: Are You Engaged Yet?
Ebola Outbreak Raises Ethical Issues
Better Comms Means a Fitter Future for Pharma, Part 2: Realizing the Benefits of Unified Communications
Better Comms Means a Fitter Future for Pharma, Part 1: Challenges and Changes
Sandoz Wins Biosimilar Filing Race

Click here