Through a joint-venture agreement with Artepharm Co. Ltd. (Artepharm China), Artepharm Global Corp. now owns the patent and worldwide marketing rights for Artequick, an anti-malaria drug developed by Artepharm China. Artequick is available in 11 countries with high rates of malaria infection.
Per the agreement, Artepharm Global will acquire the worldwide marketing rights and global patents for Artequick and will retain revenues generated from sales of Artequick in exchange for 40 million shares of Artepharm Global. In 2009, Artepharm China generated approximately US$1.5 million.
Artepharm Global integrated the use of artemisinin in traditional Chinese medicine with western pharmaceutical technology to develop Artequick. The four-pill treatment contains active ingredient artemisinin, a plant indigenous to China, which has been utilized as malaria treatment since the 1600s.
The global need for malaria was reflected in the 2009 TV documentary on Dateline (Australia). The show aired an 18-minute documentary on Artepharm China’s efforts in 2007 to fight malaria on the island of Moheli off the east coast of Africa.
The company was successful in reducing the island’s malaria infection rate from 22 percent to 2 percent. Today’s press release noted that within the year leading up to the Dateline documentary, there were no deaths attributed to malaria.