Artemisinin: The journey from natural product to Nobel Prize
The 2014 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine was announced on 5th October. One-half was awarded jointly to William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ômura “for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites” and the other half to Youyou Tu “for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria. ” The novel therapy that was given this huge recognition was artemisinin, a drug (isolated from the plant Artemisia annua) that has saved millions of lives and rekindled the dream of a world where malaria has been eradicated. This is a brief review of this important landmark in the chemotherapy of malaria; a victory for purified and refined herbal medicines.
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