CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 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.
Artemisinin was the subject of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded to Tu Youyou based on her work in identifying the molecule as a potential treatment for malaria. Tu researched Traditional Chinese Medicine which led her to identify an extract from the plant Artemisia annua (sweet wormwood) as a treatment for malaria.
About Manus Bio
Manus Bio is a global leader in the use of advanced fermentation technology for manufacturing complex, bioactive natural products as flavors, fragrances, food ingredients, biopesticides, and pharmaceuticals. The core team and technology are from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the company is headquartered in Cambridge, MA, USA. For more information, visit www.manusbio.com.