The Arteanniun is a medicine which is taken from the Artemisia annua - a common type of wormwood native to temperate Asia. So before we start our study in Arteanniun let us have look at the Artemisia annua first, because it is always important to know where it comes from. Artemisia annua Linn is an Asteraceae belongs to the herb plants. It appears all around China, some part of Europe and Temperate, frigid, subtropical regions of Asia. It has a really strong adaptability. Arteanniun is a medicine has been taken out from the stem and leaf of the Artemisia annua Linn. It is found by a Chinese Scientist in 1971 who called Tu Yoyo. Even though Arteanniun is extracted from the plant but still it is a Chemical preparation instead of a Biology preparation.
Arteanniun has a molecular formula of C15H22O5. It is one of the most effect Antimalarial drug, especially when it comes to against the Brain Malaria and Anti-Chloroquine Malaria. Since 2000 the 2.4 Billion residence in the south part of the Sahara region take the treatment of the Arteanniun, and about 1.5 million avoid the death which caused by the Malaria because of the treatment. Thus a lot of Africa residence gave the name ‘Oriental god medicine' to the Arteanniun. Despite the good name, the Chinese scientist Tu also won the Noble prize because of discovering Arteanniun.
After the brief introduction of Arteanniun, let us have a look at the history and the reason why it was invented. In 1965 the Vietnam War started. American and Vietnamese army fight hard in the Asia forest. However, millions of soldiers have not been killed from the bullets, but killed by the Malaria, even though some of them are lucky enough to make a living, they are not able to go back to the battlefield anymore. The aetiology of Malaria is Plasmodium which is a Eucaryon. It stays inside the body of the female mosquito, thus when the mosquito bit human it will travel into human's body along with the oral fluid from the mosquito. Once the spore went into the human body, it will flow with the blood. The first thing it will attack is the liver cells because the liver cells have the most nutrition which can supply the spore to grow and produce more of themselves, then they will come out from the dead liver cells and went into the red blood cells to keep growing and breeding. Due to the death of the huge amount of red blood cells, human will start to take reaction for that which is, high fevering, shivering, anaemia and even death.
Against the Malaria, we have the Quinolone drugs. This drug works quite well when it first came out in 1947. However, after 18 years when it came to the Vietnam War the Plasmodium developed, which means they started to have the strong resistance of the drug, but there is no new drug following by, owing to this the Malaria starts to wreak havoc. And suddenly the war turned into who had the new drug then who would have a larger chance to win. Thus the American army started to put in huge amount of money into the invention of the new drug and see it as important as the invention of the new weapons; compare to America, Vietnam military did not even have enough Quinolone drugs, also they do not have enough money to put into the invention because the war destroyed the economy of the country. Therefore, the last chance was asking China to help them. That explains why Chinese scientist Lu Yoyo invented the Arteanniun. This is also the reason why Arteanniun is a kind of “Strange” medicine because it combined both Chinese medicine and the Modern Western Medicine.
Nowadays the Arteanniun is still one of the most important anti-malaria drugs in the world. Because it is taken straight from the Artemisia Apiaceae plant so it can hardly supply the huge amount of the requirement from all around the world. Thus this makes the synthesis of the Arteanniun as a very important subject. So let us talk about how can we synthesis the Arteanniun in a ‘Green' way.
Green Chemistry applied in Arteanniun
As we said it is hard to supply the huge demand from all around the world by making the Arteanniun in the ‘Biology' way, the way of half-synthesis way looks more efficient and seems will be able to satisfy all the medicinal requirements. First of all, we need to do a step of bio-synthesis which is using the yeast to make the Glucose turns into the Arteanniun acid, then correspondingly and selectively to choose which to do the hydrogenation, as a result, we will be able to get the Dihydroarteanniun acid. Among all the steps the last step; plug the oxygen into the Hydroarteanniun to make it become Arteanniun becomes the largest barrier to decreasing the atmosphere prime cost and economy prime cost. Because during this process (Sanofi process) it needs to be heated and it needs to be heated for a long period of time for it needs a long reaction time. (Figure 1)
(Figure 1) Sanofi process, reaction of producing Arteanniun
Recent years, the Green Chemistry starts to be taken seriously, it includes to minimize the amount of the waste and to increase the percentage yield, avoid to use toxic reagent, to get rid of unnecessary steps in between and also to minimize the amount of energy which will be used. Relate to the last few steps of the semi-synthesis of the Arteanniun, it is possible to use the rules of the ‘Green Chemistry’ and here is the reason; Firstly, two oxygen can be related into the products in order to reduce the amount of waste which is been produced, secondly, the transition of the light chemistry energy can be selective, does not like the endothermic reaction that every single reactant will be heated up. In 2015, the group of scientists who came from Nottingham University, Durham University and Germany applied their report on the ‘Nature Chemistry’ which is about how they successfully improved the way of semi-synthesizing by using the ‘Green Chemistry’ rules. Here is something briefly about the method.
In this method, the first tactics are they are going to use the liquid Carbon Dioxide as the dissolvent and combine it with the two-uses solid acid (light catalyst). The second tactics are to do the reaction with the organic dissolvent which mixed with the water under the room temperature, in the reaction the only reactants are Dihydroarteanniun, oxygen and light; and the products are purely Arteanniun crystal. Anything else which including dissolvent, catalyst and Acid containing aqueous solution can all be recycled and reused again. This ‘easy' and ‘brief' method not only started a new cheaper route for producing Arteanniun but also provided a healthy thinking for using the ‘Green Chemistry Rules' in the similar light chemistry reaction. (Figure 2)
(Figure 2) Light chemistry reaction which used green chemistry
The website for ‘Nature Chemistry':
The way of the treatment which is using Arteanniun now becomes the most recommended way to treat Malaria published by WHO. WHO think this way is the most effective way to treat Malaria currently around the world, Also Arteanniun is the best drug to use because it has the best ability to resist the resistance of the drug which is created by the Malaria. Since 2000, there are 2.4 billion residents of South Sahara Africa region have been benefited from the Arteanniun treatment and saved millions of peoples' lives.