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New sources of artemisinin to reduce economic barriers to artemisinin-based combination therapies access

Date: Poster sessions
Source: Forum 11
Authors: Mireille Cronin Mather, Director, Communications and Outreach, Institute for OneWorld Health, USA
with Nina Grove, Victoria G Hale, Dianna Bowles, Maggie Smallwood, J Carl Craft and Thomas G Brewer


Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are essential components of the global control strategies aimed at curbing the significant morbidity and mortality caused by malaria. In order to reduce economic barriers to access of ACTs for the treatment of malaria, three organizations have come together to identify new solutions and develop new methods for producing artemisinin. Even with current and projected increases in farming of the shrub from which the drug is derived ­ Artemisia annua ­ all three new technological approaches could satisfy projected global demand. These strategies together will stabilize the supply of artemisinin, lower the cost of artemisinin production, and make ACTs accessible to far more of the people who need them. The three organizations are the Institute for OneWorld Health (OWH), the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products of the University of York, and the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV).

There is currently a window of opportunity to reduce the malaria burden through the use of ACTs. All three members of the consortium aim to introduce products to the market beginning in 2010. This period encompasses the potential release of high-yield seeds from York, projected approval of MMV's OZ synthetic peroxide, and the projected launch of ACTs based on microbially-derived artemisinin, under development by the Institute for OneWorld Health.

In this symposium the different international groups will present their unique strategies and will discuss the forecasted impact of the success of their approaches within the larger context of the global goal to increase access to medicines in the fight against malaria.