Although it has been proven effective, treatment for malaria is still very expensive to produce because its active ingredient is in low proportion in the plant that produces it. However, a group of researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Potsdam (Germany) claims to have found a solution to the problem.
Since 2001, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of combination therapy is the main component artemisinin. This compound is found naturally in the wormwood sweet (Artemisia annua) and no known way to efficiently synthesize it artificially. The problem is that the proportion of artemisinin in the plant is so small that its removal much more expensive treatment, further aggravating factor when we talk about a disease that particularly affects people with few resources.
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute seem to have found an alternative. Sweet wormwood produced in large quantities artemísico another compound called acid can be converted into artemisinin. This process is quite expensive to perform at an industrial level with the technology available, but researchers have tested a new method based on flow chemistry could be much more effective. In this technique the chemical flow through a thin tube wrapped in a light source so that it greatly increases its reactivity .
According to WHO, in 2010 655,000 people died of malaria , a troubling finding given that this is a disease for which no treatment. Scientists say that in three months will be able to produce artemisinin two kilos a day, which will lower the cost much medication. Hopefully this will serve to advance the treatment much more accessible to the thousands of people affected annually by this disease.