Updated on 13 August 2014
Artemisinin is a key ingredient in artemisinin-based combination therapies
Singapore: Global pharmaceutical firm, Sanofi, and world organization, PATH, have initated the delivery of the first large scale batches of antimalarial treatments manufactured with a new semisynthetic artemisinin derivative to malaria endemic countries in Africa.
By complementing botanically-derived supplies, the new option can widen access to treatment for millions sickened by malaria every year.
"This shipment represents a critical step in improving access to effective treatments and combatting malaria in some of the most affected countries in the world," said Dr Robert Sebbag, vice president, Sanofi's Access to Medicines. "Sanofi is proud that these first batches of antimalarial medicines produced with semisynthetic artemisinin derivative are on the way to reaching patients. This milestone is the result of the enduring partnership between PATH and Sanofi that has translated years of effort into lifesaving change."
Both artesunate, the active ingredient produced from semisynthetic artemisinin, and semisynthetic artemisinin itself, have been shown to be identical to those derived from botanical sources. Consequently, there are no changes to the quality of ASAQ Winthrop.
"Semisynthetic artemisinin demonstrates how public-private partnerships, tenacity, and an urgent and shared goal - saving children's lives - can drive promising innovations to transformative global scale,"says Steve Davis, President and CEO of PATH.