Severe malaria, a life threatening condition, may ensue rapidly if a bout of uncomplicated malaria is not promptly treated. Since 2011, based on the results of the landmark studies AQUAMAT and SEAQUAMAT, which demonstrated the superiority of injectable artesunate (Inj AS) over intravenous quinine for the treatment of severe malaria in African and Asian patients respectively, WHO guidelines have recommended Inj AS as the preferred medicine for treating this life-threatening condition.
MMV collaborated with Guilin to help the manufacturer achieve WHO prequalification for its Inj AS formulation, Artesun, in November 2010. This approval represented a critical turning point, making it possible for the first time for donor funds to support procurement of Inj AS as WHO’s preferred treatment for severe malaria. As of January 2018, this remains the only WHO-prequalified Inj AS available.