Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New technologies gearing up to meet rising demand for vital malaria drugs

Three emerging technologies have the potential to significantly improve supplies of drugs to combat malaria, according to a report published today.

With renewed efforts to eradicate malaria – a disease which kills up to one million people every year, most of them young children – the global demand for antimalarials is set to increase dramatically over the next four years.

The report, launched at a special meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Malaria at Westminster, assesses a portfolio of new technologies, collectively known as The Artemisinin Enterprise:

• The Centre for Novel Agricultural Products at the University of York is using fast-track plant breeding to increase yields of artemisinin from the medicinal plant.

• The Institute for One World Health is using synthetic biology to produce artemisinin through fermentation and subsequent chemical conversion.

• The Medicines for Malaria Venture is developing novel synthetic artemisinin-like compounds.

The World Health Organization recommends artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) as the most effective treatments available today. Around 100 million Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (ACTs) were sold in 2006, but forecasts show that demand will at least double over the next four years, potentially growing to over 300 million doses annually.

Artemisinin is extracted from the medicinal plant Artemisia annua but production of the drugs is expensive and the quality variable. Uneven supplies have caused prices to vary from USD $1200/kg to $120 between 2005 and 2008 leading to high levels of uncertainty in the market for growers and pharmaceutical companies.There is growing concern that the current global supply of artemisinin cannot reliably and affordably produce the quantities or quality that will be required for ACT production.

Today’s report concludes that the outputs from all three technologies can collectively help satisfy the projected global demand for malaria treatments by providing alternative sources of artemisinin, stabilising the supply of effective antimalarial drugs such as ACTs and reducing the cost of artemisinin production.

The new technologies will only be used to support the production of high quality combination therapies for malaria. Such therapies are essential to counter the development of artemisinin resistance, a major threat to effectively fighting the disease. These technologies are envisaged to come online in the next three to seven years.

The report recommends measures to help to ensure the effective introduction of the new technologies of the Artemisinin Enterprise into the ACT supply chain. It also highlights suggestions for the wider malaria community, aimed at improving the supply of ACTs in other ways. These include creating buffer stocks, harmonizing the regulatory approach for faster ACT approvals and improving demand forecasting.

The report is based on the conclusions of the Artemisinin Enterprise Conference 2008, which was sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership and hosted by the University of York.

Elspeth Bartlet | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1
27.10.2016 | NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute

nachricht 'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape
27.10.2016 | International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Solid progress in carbon capture

27.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>