Continuous-Flow Synthesis of the Anti-Malaria Drug Artemisinin

Authors

  • Dr. François Lévesque,

    1. Department for Biomolecular Systems, Max-Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces, Am Mühlenberg 1, 14476 Potsdam (Germany)
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  • Prof. Dr. Peter H. Seeberger

    Corresponding author
    1. Department for Biomolecular Systems, Max-Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces, Am Mühlenberg 1, 14476 Potsdam (Germany)
    2. Institute for Chemistry and Biochemistry, Freie Universität Berlin, Arnimallee 22, 14195 Berlin (Germany) http://www.mpikg.mpg.de
    • Department for Biomolecular Systems, Max-Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces, Am Mühlenberg 1, 14476 Potsdam (Germany)
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  • We thank the Max-Planck Society for generous financial support. F.L. is the recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship from Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies (FQRNT). Vapourtec is gratefully acknowledged for providing R2C+ and R4 flow-chemistry systems. We thank Dr. V. Mountain for critically editing this manuscript and Ms. C. Steininger for drawing Figure 1.

Abstract

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Malaria is a serious global health issue. Artemisinin combination treatments are the first-line drugs, but supplies are limited because artemisinin is obtained solely by extraction from Artemisia annua. A continuous-flow process that converts dihydroartemisinic acid into artemisinin (see scheme) was shown to be an inexpensive and scalable process that can ensure a steady, affordable supply of artemisinin.

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