Navigation Links
IU chemist develops new synthesis of most useful, yet expensive, antimalarial drug

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In 2010 malaria caused an estimated 665,000 deaths, mostly among African children. Now, chemists at Indiana University have developed a new synthesis for the world's most useful antimalarial drug, artemisinin, giving hope that fully synthetic artemisinin might help reduce the cost of the live-saving drug in the future.

Effective deployment of ACT, or artemisinin-based combination therapy, has been slow due to high production costs of artemisinin. The World Health Organization has set a target "per gram" cost for artemisinin of 25 cents or less, but the current cost is about $2.40 per gram, and production of low-cost semi-synthetic artemisinin has yet to materialize.

"In 2005, the WHO claimed that the structure of artemisinin was too complex for cost-effective synthesis," said IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences chemistry professor Silas Cook. "We saw this as a natural challenge to the creativity and tenacity of organic chemists."

Published recently in the Journal of the American Chemical Society as "A Concise Synthesis of Artemisinin," Cook and postdoctoral co-author Chunyin Zhu report a succinct five-part process beginning with inexpensive cyclohexenone, an ideal feedstock available on metric-ton scale. Subsequent chemistry highlights several new reactions developed in the Cook group to enable this short, low-cost synthesis.

The result was the production of fully synthetic artemisinin on gram scale, greater than all previous total syntheses combined.

"The key to the ultimate success of synthetic artemisinin will be the large-scale production of the drug," Cook said. "As such, we had to completely rethink what qualified as suitable starting materials for this synthesis and invent new chemistry." The result was the use of readily available commodity chemicals in a process that was shorter than any other artemisinin total synthesis ever conducted.

The next challenge will be to move from gram-scale to kilogram-scale production, a process Cook may or may not be involved with.

"There is still work to be done. And we'd love to do it here, but the project has yet to attract outside funding," he said. "This is still in an experimental phase until you can scale up. We patented it, so the intellectual property rights are in place."

Contact: Steve Chaplin
Indiana University

Related biology news :

1. LAMIS -- a green chemistry alternative for laser spectroscopy
2. UCLAs Yi Tang receives Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from EPA
3. UC Berkeley chemists installing first carbon dioxide sensor network in Oakland
4. UMass Amherst biochemists developing tools to stop plague and other bacterial threats
5. Pulverized rocks, coral reefs, seawater chemistry, and continental collisions
6. Scientists connect seawater chemistry with climate change and evolution
7. Chemistry on Mars video with Curiosity Rover from the American Chemical Society
8. Chemists advance clear conductive thin films
9. Changes in water chemistry leave lake critters defenseless
10. Diabetes Research Institute develops oxygen-generating biomaterial
11. Genetic research develops tools for studying diseases, improving regenerative treatment
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
IU chemist develops new synthesis of most useful, yet expensive, antimalarial drug
(Date:11/18/2015)... , November 18, 2015 ... published a new market report titled  Gesture Recognition Market ... Forecast, 2015 - 2021. According to the report, the global gesture ... is anticipated to reach US$29.1 bn by 2021, at ... North America dominated the global ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... 17, 2015 Paris ... --> Paris , qui s,est ... DERMALOG, le leader de l,innovation biométrique, a inventé le ... et empreintes sur la même surface de balayage. Jusqu,ici, ... l,autre pour les empreintes digitales. Désormais, un seul scanner ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... , Nov. 17, 2015 Pressure BioSciences, Inc. ... the development and sale of broadly enabling, pressure cycling ... sciences industry, today announced it has received gross proceeds ... million Private Placement (the "Offering"), increasing the total amount ... or more additional closings are expected in the near ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... Partnership includes an MPP ... the u niversity , s Solid Drug Nanoparticle ... cale - up through cost ... , where licensees based anywhere in the world will have the right to ... Africa , where licensees based anywhere in the world will have the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015 Harvard Apparatus ... a biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ implants for ... notification from The NASDAQ Stock Market that it ... requirements. The letter noted that as a result ... stock having exceeded $1.00 per share for more ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015 Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: SPEX ... fostering and monetization of intellectual property, today provided ... designed to create shareholder value. ... "Based on published reports, the total addressable market ... and Spherix will seek to secure fair and ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015  Champions Oncology, Inc. (CSBR), ... services to personalize the development and use of oncology ... Executive Officer, will be presenting at the LD MICRO ... Pacific Standard Time (PST).  The conference, held at the ... Angeles, CA , will feature 200 small/micro-cap companies ...
Breaking Biology Technology: