Fosun Pharma’s Self-Developed Artemisinin Series Becomes Symbol of China’s Innovative Medicines

In the 1940s, China reported approximately 30 million cases of malaria per year[1]. Since August 2016, China has not recorded a single case of indigenous malaria, marking a significant achievement in the fight against malaria, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has hailed as “a remarkable feat[1]“. On June 30, 2021WHO announced that China has been officially certified malaria-free.

The 50th anniversary of the discovery of artemisinin, a compound helping to save lives from malaria around the world

According to the WHO, in 2020 there were approximately 241 million cases of malaria worldwide and 627,000 malaria-related deaths in 85 countries. of which 96% occurred in Africaof which about 80% are children under the age of five[2]. An African child dies of malaria every 55 seconds on average.

Malaria was once a major public health problem in China. In his decades-long battle with malaria, China continuous and precise prevention and control and its achievements in independent innovation and R&D of antimalarial drugs have made outstanding contributions to the global fight against malaria.

On May 23, 1967the Collaborative Conference of Researchers on Medicine for the Prevention and Treatment of Malaria was held in beijing. Mission 523 was launched, focused on identifying new drugs for the prevention and treatment of malaria. In 1972, You you you and his team found that Qinghaosu or Artemisinin (the extracts of Artemisia annua L./Qinghao) can effectively inhibit malaria parasites, which opened a new chapter in antimalarial drug research to the world. Guilin Pharma, a subsidiary of Fosun Pharma has joined Mission 523 to research and develop artemisinin derivatives. Artesunate was chemically synthesized based on artemisinin by Guilin Pharma in 1977. A year later, artesunate for injection was developed, which solved the problem of water solubility of artesunate compounds. artemisinin.

In 1987, Guilin Pharma was granted Chinese New Drug Certificate No. X-01 Class I for Artesunate by Chinese Ministry of Health and New Drug Certificate No. X-02 for Artesunate for Injection. The worldwide use of artesunate in the treatment of malaria patients has saved millions of lives. Artesuante has been listed as one of the essential antimalarial drugs by the WHO since 2000.

To help save more lives from malaria, Fosun Pharma makes innovation its main driver of sustainable growth and continues to improve product quality and update manufacturing management standards. On December 21, 2005, artesunate tablet innovated by Fosun Pharma has become the first pharmaceutical product prequalified by WHO, which represents a zero breakthrough for the Chinese pharmaceutical industry. At the end of 2010, with the publication of a Lancet cover article on the results of an international clinical trial of Artesun® (artesunate for injection) from Fosun Pharma, Artesun® (artesunate for injection) has also obtained WHO prequalification. In early 2011, WHO revised the Guidelines for the treatment of malariaswitching the first-line treatment for severe malaria from quinine to artesunate for injection.

Participation in the fight against malaria in Africa with continuous innovation in the development of new drugs and measures for the prevention and treatment of malaria in children

The fight against malaria has always been a top priority for China medical and health assistance to Africa. Since 2006, Fosun Pharma has been an active participant in the Chinese government’s China Aid anti-malaria project by Africa. The society has also conducted various public welfare activities and international malaria research cooperation to help improve local malaria control capacity by Africa. Fosun Pharma has been a major supplier of antimalarial drugs to the Global Fund, UNICEF, WHO and national drug procurement centers in Africa.

From treatment to prevention, Fosun Pharma continues to provide more prevention and treatment solutions for malaria patients, especially children. In August 2018Fosun Pharma’s SPAQ-CO® Disp (sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine dispersible tablets and amodiaquine dispersible tablets), indicated for the prevention of malaria in children, has been prequalified by WHO (WHO-PQ). By the end of 2021, approximately 175 million children in African countries with high malaria transmission had benefited from the “Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention Programme”, for which SPAQ-CO® Disp is used as the basic medicine. SMC with SPAQ-CO® Disp effectively reduced malaria morbidity in children under five in Africa.

Fosun Pharma’s antimalarial product portfolio covers malaria prevention and treatments for complicated and severe malaria. From January 2022Fosun Pharma has 30 WHO prequalified antimalarial products, including 26 finished dosage forms and 4 APIs, making Fosun Pharma the leading antimalarial drug manufacturer with the most certifications.

After more than 15 years of activity in AfricaFosun Pharma has established a sales and marketing network in 39 countries and regions in Africaensuring the continued availability of medicines and health products such as antimalarial drugs in Africa.

Since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the globe, posing critical challenges to global malaria responses. According to World Malaria Report 2021 published by WHO, around two-thirds of additional deaths (47,000) in 2020 were linked to disruptions in the provision of malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment services during the COVID-19 pandemic[3].

As a global pharmaceutical and healthcare industry group focused on innovation and deeply rooted in China, Fosun Pharma has actively responded to the WHO call. While striving to ensure the supply of antimalarial drugs in the global market, Fosun Pharma has accelerated the technological innovation of COVID-19 products to secure the supply of relevant materials and strategic products, in order to continuously contribute to the prevention and control of the pandemic. .

“Malaria is a global public health issue of grave concern,” said Wu Yifang, Chairman and CEO of Fosun Pharma. “We always adhere to innovative R&D and uphold the mission of helping the world eliminate malaria as our corporate social responsibility. Fosun Pharma’s global operational networks will further improve the availability and affordability of antimalarial drugs and medicines. other medical products in Africa. In addition, we strive to contribute to the achievement of the Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 proposed by WHO to control and eliminate malaria. »




About Fosun Pharma

Founded in 1994, Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co., Ltd. (“Fosun Pharma”; stock code: 600196.SH, 02196.HK) is an innovation-driven global pharmaceutical and healthcare group with deep roots in China. Fosun Pharma directly operates businesses including pharmaceutical manufacturing, medical devices, medical diagnostics and healthcare services. As a shareholder of Sinopharm Co., Ltd., Fosun Pharma expands its areas of distribution and retailing of pharmaceutical products.

Fosun Pharma is patient-centered and focused on clinical needs. The company enriches its pipeline of innovative products through diversified and multi-level cooperation models such as independent research and development, cooperative development, licensing and deep incubation. Fosun Pharma has formed technology platforms for innovative small molecule drugs, antibodies and cell therapy, focusing on key disease areas including oncology and immunomodulation, metabolism and digestive system, and the central nervous system. Fosun Pharma is also vigorously exploring advanced technologies, such as RNA, oncolytic viruses, gene therapy and PROTAC, to enhance its innovation capabilities.

Guided by the 4IN (Innovation, Internationalization, Integration and Intelligentization) strategy, Fosun Pharma will maintain the development model of “transformation of innovation, integrated operation and steady growth”, with the mission of creating shareholder values ​​as well as promoting the global networks by strengthening its innovative R&D and licensing capacity and enriching its product pipelines. Fosun Pharma will actively promote the digital and physical business setup in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry and is committed to becoming a premier enterprise in the global medical and healthcare market.

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SOURCE Fosun Pharma

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