Plants producing anti-malarial compounds

Artepharming
(Pending editorial review)
Spagna (Barcellona)

One of Sequentia most crucial goals is to create know-how and appropriate technologies for a sustainable development in order not only to improve human health but also to preserve the environment and food quality. We strongly believe that green biotechnologies, genomics and bioinformatics, if properly used, can lead our society towards a better future where human needs are also combined with those of our planet. Biopharming represents an unprecedented opportunity to make high quality and modern medicines affordable and accessible to countries and areas most in need. In 2014 we have started our own research lines, which include Plant Biopharming that combines agriculture and metabolic pathway engineering exploiting the plant’s natural biochemical pathways. Our project ArtePharming isfocused in the use of different medicinal plant models, starting with Artemisia annua, as a cost-effective and valuable system to produce huge amounts of bioactive therapeutic compounds with anti-cancer and anti-malarial properties. Artemisinin, a natural substance naturally produced only in Artemisia annua plant, is a very powerful and efficacious molecule to treat malaria as well as cancer. Indeed, the discovery of this substance has been recently awarded with the Nobel Prize in Medicine 2015. Nearly half of the world’s population (3.2 billion people) is at risk. In 2015, there were an estimated 214 million malaria infection cases and 438.000 malaria deaths. Young children, pregnant women and non-immune travellers from malaria-free areas are particularly vulnerable to the disease when they become infected. Fight malaria is to fight poverty. For that reason, our efforts will focus on trying to reduce malaria mortality and morbidity in areas more in need.

Submitted by

Walter Sanseverino (15 February 2016)

Bio

PhD in plant genetics & social entrepreneur
Co-founder & Executive Director of Sequentia Biotech

Project leader

Luis Matias Hernandez, principal investigator of Sequentia Biotech. Walter Sanseverino Co-Funder of Sequentia Biotech

Artepharming aim

Trichomes producing Artemisia

Artemisia plant

Creative Commons License

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