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Streamlined Process for the Conversion of Artemisinin to Artemether

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journal contribution
posted on 18.05.2012, 00:00 by Rodger W. Stringham, David S. Teager
We report an improvement to the previously published manufacturing process for artemether, a key antimalarial drug, utilizing readily available reagents, easily controlled manufacturing conditions, and a greatly simplified workup and isolation. New analytical methods and in-process controls allow for optimization of yield through control of side product formation. A 70% overall yield from the two-step conversion of naturally or synthetically derived artemisinin to pure β-artemether is obtained. This corresponds to a usage factor of 1.35 kg of artemisinin needed to produce 1 kg of β-artemether, compared to the current industry average of 1.59 kg.