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Business

Sanofi Starts Up Artemisinin Plant

by Michael McCoy
April 15, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 15

Sanofi has opened a commercial-scale facility for the production of the malaria drug artemisinin. The Bulgarian firm Huvepharma produces artemisinic acid via a fermentation process developed by the biotech firm Amyris. Sanofi then converts the intermediate to artemisinin in Garessio, Italy, using photochemistry. The French drugmaker expects to produce 35 metric tons of artemisinin this year and up to 60 metric tons next year. That figure corresponds to between 80 million and 150 million malaria treatments that Sanofi says it will sell at no profit.

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