Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (ACTs), are recommended by the World Health Organization as the primary first-line treatment for malaria and they have saved thousands of lives. Unfortunately, to get artemisinin, you need access to the Chinese Sweet Wormwood plant, which is difficult, expensive and time-consuming to cultivate. This simple fact was preventing millions of people in the developing world from receiving critical ACTs
In 2005 we partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to make artemisinic acid-producing yeast strains available to Sanofi on a royalty-free basis via OneWorld Health and 120 million treatments were delivered. Because these ACT treatments are better for people and better for the planet, we have ensured the continued production of high quality supplies of artemisinin for use in ACTs in the future.
To find out more about the development of artemisinin please visit the scientific journal, Nature.