Manus Bio Inc. (Manus Bio), a company which produces complex natural products through advanced fermentation, announced today that it has received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the development of a scalable and cost-effective production method for artemisinin, a key therapeutic for treating malaria. Manus Bio will use its proprietary microbial chassis and unique enzyme engineering approaches to develop an advanced fermentation process for low-cost manufacturing of artemisinin.
“Malaria remains one of the largest health problems in the world today which, despite great progress in recent years, still kills over 600,000 people in a given year. Artemisinin combination therapies are recommended by the World Health Organization as first line treatment of malaria, but the vast majority of artemisinin produced today is derived from plants. With the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we are deploying our fermentation technology to lower the cost of artemisinin, create a stable supply, and expand its use,” said Dr. Ajikumar Parayil, CEO of Manus Bio.