Market Forces Negatively Affect Prospects For Increased Role Of Semi-Synthetic Artemisinin For Malaria Treatment

Nature: Synthetic biology’s first malaria drug meets market resistance
“When Paris-based pharmaceutical giant Sanofi started to sell malaria drugs made with the help of genetically engineered yeast in 2014, the move was hailed as a triumph for synthetic biology. … Yet Sanofi produced no ‘semi-synthetic’ artemisinin (SSA) at all in 2015, Nature has learned. And the company is now selling the manufacturing site in Garessio, Italy, where it made its SSA. That such celebrated drugmaking technology — developed with the help of US$64 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — stands idle illustrates the complicated web of economic forces that affects the market for malaria drugs…” (Peplow, 2/23).