A2S2 Newsletter #1, July 2011


Artemisinin Conference 2010

The 2010 Artemisinin Conference was held in Antananarivo (Madagascar) from 12th - 14th October. Up to 150 delegates from around 21 countries attended the annual event, which covered all aspects of Artemisia/artemisinin production and supply; ACT forecasting; quality requirements and the latest information regarding new API developments; vector control issues; resistance and the supply of monotherapy/low quality treatments and the latest position regarding semi-synthetic artemisinin development.
All the presentations are available on: http://www.mmv.org/newsroom/events/artemisinin-conference-2010

Artemisinin Conference 2011

In 2011 the Artemisinin Conference will be held 2nd - 3rd November in Hanoi, Vietnam.  The conference format will be similar to 2010 but will be held over 2 days. The agenda will reflect the need for continuing artemisinin/ACT supply chain harmonisation, realistic artemisinin pricing and report on the latest results regarding new production/processing technology and the introduction of semi-synthetic artemisinin.


In November 2010, Guilin Pharma, China obtained the prequalification for Artesunate injectable. The first API prequalification was also obtained in 2011 by Mangalam  Drugs and Organic Ltd, India, for Artemether and Lumefantrine. For more information on WHO prequalifications, please see:  http://apps.who.int/prequal/


Artemisinin Market Situation

Following visits by the A2S2 Project Management Team members to China, Vietnam and Africa in recent months, it is now possible to update the figures previously presented at the Artemisinin Conference in Madagascar. Our latest estimate for the global production from the 2011 crop is now in the range of 150 – 170MT but much will depend on the weather in Asia over the next 2 months.  Due to factors such as the rising food crop prices, the costs of dried Artemisia leaves have substantially increased which is reflected in increases in artemisinin prices.  In China a substantial proportion of the crop is also still harvested from wild  leaves.

Figures are based on best estimates and are regularly updated.

  • The supply of year X is measured against the demand of year X+1.
  • Figures are based on best estimates and are regularly updated. 
  • To date, A2S2 has financed contracts between extractors and manufacturers  worth a combined  additional supply of  26MT  artemisinin (2010/11).
  • To date, A2S2 has supported long term agreements between extractors and manufacturers (not involving A2S2 financial support) worth a combined additional supply of  at least 8.5MT  artemisinin (2010/11).
     As nearly all artemisinin quantities have already been contracted, and stocks sold, few free quantities are now available. Latest prices are in the range of 500 – over $650/kg artemisinin.

The AMFm programme is resulting in a strong market demand for ACTs in 2011/12 and with artemisinin buffer/safety stocks being very low with API/ACT manufacturers, there is an increasing demand for artemisinin.
In order to improve and consolidate ACT forecasting a new consortium, coordinated by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), funded by UNITAID, and including MIT-Zaragoza and Clinton Foundation (CHAI), has recently been formed.
In 2009 the market need was only just managed through the use of safety stocks and increased harvesting of wild grown Artemisia.  Although Artemisia plantings in 2010 increased significantly over those in 2009, the extreme weather conditions in 2010, particularly in China and Vietnam, is now resulting in artemisinin shortages.  The A2S2 programme and increased industry communication e.g. through the annual Artemisinin Conferences, have contributed to increased artemisinin production in 2011.  However, much will depend on the scale of ACT requirements for 2012 and the results of the 2011 artemisinin production, before accurate predictions can be made concerning whether there is adequate artemisinin available to meet 2012 market needs. The present view is that artemisinin supply will be close to matching demand for 2012, but much will depend on the amount of artemisinin required to replenish working and safety stocks used up in 2010/11. The introduction of semi-synthetic artemisinin in 2012 may also help the supply situation.

Our best estimate for supply and supply predictions, based on the current information available, is also shown in the adjacent chart.