At present, China provides most of the Artemisin anna raw material from which artemisinin, the active ingredient for Malaria treatment, is being extracted and purified. This constitutes about 70 % of the 180 tons world market. The remainder is produced by a chemo-fermentative process including metabolically engineered yeast (Sanofi, around 40 tons). The CAS Institute of Organic Chemistry in Shanghai has made some progress on a fully synthetic pathway to artemisinin but its complex structure with a rare type of peroxide fixed within two quaternary carbon bridges provides severe synthetic challenges. The first Nobel prize to China is expected to stimulate activities in China to step up R&D for becoming a prime supplier of pure artemisinin in the future.
China Bio news release, October 14, 2015