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Pharmaceuticals

Sanofi Supplies New Malaria Drugs

by Ann M. Thayer
August 18, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 33

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Credit: Sanofi
Workers at Sanofi’s plant in Morocco.
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Credit: Sanofi
Workers at Sanofi’s plant in Morocco.

A Sanofi plant in Morocco has begun supplying African countries with antimalarial combination drugs made with a semisynthetic artemisinin derivative. Sanofi partnered with the health care organization PATH; the University of California, Berkeley; and biotech firm Amyris to scale up the artemisinin process. It’s considered a more reliable source of the active ingredient than extracting it from the sweet wormwood plant. Last year, Sanofi and PATH began making artemisinin at Sanofi’s Garessio site in Italy. Sanofi says it can produce 50 to 60 metric tons per year of semisynthetic artemisinin, or enough to meet one-third of the world’s needs.

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