THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

Sanofi, PATH begin shipments of new malaria treatment

Sanofi and PATH announced on Tuesday that the first large-scale shipments of an antimalarial treatment using a semisynthetic artemisinin derivative were shipped to malaria-endemic countries in Africa.

The ArteSunate AmodiaQuine Winthrop treatments are non-seasonal and have the potential of widening access of malaria drugs to millions of people by complementing botanically-derived supplies.

"This shipment represents a critical step in improving access to effective treatments and combating malaria in some of the most affected countries in the world," Robert Sebbag, the vice president of Sanofi's Access to Medicines, said. "Sanofi is proud that these first batches of antimalarial medicines produced with semisynthetic artemisinin derivative are on the way to reaching patients."

The World Health Organization's Prequalification of Medicines Programme announced in May of last year that semisynthetic artemisinin produced by Sanofi for use in active substances was acceptable. Sanofi and PATH began manufacturing launched commercial production of semisynthetic artemisinin in Italy last year.

The company said it currently has the capacity to produce 50-60 metric tons of the treatment annually.

More than 1.7 treatments, which were manufactured with semisynthetic artesunate in Morocco, will ship from Sanofi's distribution center over the next few months to Burkina Faso, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Niger and Nigeria.