Researchers Hoping To Open Large Artemisinin Production Facility In Kentucky, Bring Down Price Of Malaria Treatment
Lexington Herald-Leader: Wanted: Former Kentucky tobacco farms to join fight against malaria
“Once known for expertise in growing tobacco, Kentucky is poised to become the epicenter of production of a similar plant that is used to cure malaria, called artemisia or sweet wormwood. … The plants produce a molecule called artemisinin that can cure malaria for only a few dollars a box. But that’s still too expensive for most of the people in the world at risk for getting the mosquito-borne disease, said Kerry Gilmore, who is running a research team at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam, Germany, that has figured out a way to make the medicine much more efficiently and cheaply … Most of the existing artemisia crop is grown in Asia but moving large-scale production to Kentucky should stabilize supply and could give Kentucky farmers another lucrative crop…” (Patton, 3/23).