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Sigma-Tau S.p.A.

Drug Names(s): Eurartekin; Artekin; Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine; DHA-PPQ

Description: Eurartesim is a combination of dihydroartemisinin, a derivative of artemisinin obtained from Artemisia annua and a well known herb of traditional Chinese medicine, and piperaquine, which is also used for effective malaria treatment and has a longer elimination half-life ensuring the eradication of the infection.

Artemisinin is a drug used to treat multi-drug resistant strains of falciparum malaria. The specific mechanism of action of artemisinin is not well understood, and there is ongoing research directed at elucidating it. When the parasite that causes malaria infects a red blood cell, it consumes hemoglobin and liberates free heme, an iron-porphyrin complex. The iron reduces the peroxide bond in artemisinin generating high-valent iron-oxo species, resulting in a cascade of reactions that produce reactive oxygen radicals which damage the parasite leading to its death.

Artemisinin is under early research and testing for treatment of cancer. Artemisinin has a peroxide lactone group in its structure. It is thought that when the peroxide comes into contact with high iron concentrations (common in cancerous cells), the molecule becomes unstable and releases reactive oxygen species. It has been shown to reduce angiogenesis and the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in some tissue cultures.

Deal Structure: In March 2004, Chongqing Holley Holding, Sigma-Tau, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), and University of Oxford signed an agreement for the international development of Eurartesim.

In December 2008, Pfizer and Sigma-Tau announced that they entered into a license and supply agreement under which, following applicable regulatory submissions and approvals, the companies will market Eurartesim in Africa.

Alfa Wassermann and Sigma-Tau
In March 2015, Alfa Wassermann and Sigma-Tau signed an agreement to create a new company where each of them will contribute its pharmaceutical business. This industrial partnership will not include Sigma-Tau rare disease business and some financial stakes owned in the international pharma and rare disease businesses that will continue to be held by the Cavazza family. The majority shareholding (75%) of the new company will be held by the Golinelli family. Some members of Cavazza family will hold a 20% stake while Intesa Sanpaolo,...See full deal structure in Biomedtracker

Eurartesim News

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