Contact: to feature here

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Yeast derived Anti-malaria drug to be marketed low-cost by large international Co.
Sanofi, a pharmaceutical giant and OneWorld Health, a nonprofit drug developer said on April 12th that they launched a new project, consisting of a collaboration of several multinational organizations, to ensure large-scale production of artemisinin, a chief ingredient in anti-malarial drug production, using an older synthetic biology technology developed over a decade ago by the two organizations and Amyris with its co-founder, a University of California, Berkeley, professor, Dr. Keasling.
As part of the drug development affiliate PATH, Sanofi and OneWorld Healt intend to produce additional 35 tons of semisynthetic artemisinin this year, capping with and an average of 50 to 60 tons per year starting in 2014, at Sanofi’s Garessio site in Italy.

That would provide between 80 and 150 million artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), identified by the World Health Organization in 2005 as the most effective first-line treatment available for uncomplicated malaria.
"The production of semisynthetic artemisinin will help secure part of the world's supply and maintain the cost of this raw material at acceptable levels for public health authorities around the world and ultimately benefit patients," said Robert Sebbag, M.D., vp of Access to Medicines at Sanofi. "This is a pivotal milestone in the fight against malaria."
Sanofi and OneWorld Health expevt that they will be able to add to the botanical supplies of the strain of yeast derived from the sweet wormwood plant Artemisia annua, thus accounting for inconsistencies in artemisinin supply. The collaborations states that maintaining several sources of artemisinin will contribute to a lower, more stable, price, and ultimately ensure greater availability of treatment for people with malaria, especially in impoverished countries.

Bulgaria’s Huverpharma will conduct the fermentation process leading to production of the precursor, srtemisinic acid, followed by a synthetic transformation of the artemisinic acid into artemisinin via photochemistry done by Sanofi. The artemisinin is then chemically transformed into the active antimalarial drug artesunate, and finally combined with another antimalarial drug to create the antimalarial ACT—a process that the coalition says reduces the chance that the malaria parasite will develop resistance to artemisinin.

The technology utilized here was discovered by Jay D. Keasling, Ph.D., professor of chemical engineering at UC Berkeley. Dr. Keasling—now the associate director for biosciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and CEO of the Joint Bioenergy Institute—was the first to discover that implanting wormwood and yeast genes into bacteria made the bacteria produce a chemical that could be chemically converted to artemisinin.
In 2006, Keasling found another gene that, when inserted into yeast with the previous genes, allowed Dr. Keasling and colleagues to synthesize small amounts of artemisinic acid. Using Dr. Keasling’s advanced synthetic biology techniques, Amyris added that gene to yeast along with other plant genes derived from wormwood and other plants to increase artemisinic acid production by a factor of 15—at which point Sanofi became interested.

Dr. Keasling and colleagues founded Amyris in 2003 to commercialize the discovery—They have thus far published the sequence of genes they introduced into the yeast in nature Magazin. The paper was posted online April 10 and will appear in Nature’s April 25 print issue.

OneWorld Health helped Dr. Keasling to transfer from his UC Berkeley lab to Amyris for a scale-up, then to Sanofi for production. OneWorld’s work was funded by two grants totaling $53.3 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the hope of providing significant steps in battling malaria globaly.

Sanofi stated that the price of the vaccine will be kept low for developing countries through a no-profit, no-loss production model. Dr. Keasling said UC Berkeley helped make that possible by pushing for royalty-free licensing of the process to Sanofi, which agreed in return to sell artemisinin at lower cost to countries in need.
Like Post Reply

Possibly Related Threads…
Last Post

Users browsing this thread:
1 Guest(s)

Yeast derived Anti-malaria drug to be marketed low-cost by large international Co.00