Treating uncomplicated malaria with ASAQ (artesunate-amodiaquine)

If left untreated, a bout of uncomplicated malaria can quickly evolve into severe malaria, which may have life-threatening consequences. Timely access to the appropriate treatment for uncomplicated malaria is key to avoiding this scenario.

ASAQ is one of five ACTs recommended by WHO for the treatment of acute uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. The first fixed-dose combination of ASAQ, developed by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and Sanofi and branded ASAQ Winthrop®, was prequalified by WHO in 2008. Since then, ASAQ has played an important role in the global effort to improve timely access to treatment.

Supporting access to ASAQ in malaria-endemic countries

Through an agreement with DNDi in 2015, MMV agreed to take over access stewardship of ASAQ. This involves supporting its use in endemic countries as per its recommended label and helping disseminate evidence-based information regarding its efficacy and safety for consideration by national treatment programmes, in line with WHO’s guidance.

ASAQ Winthrop has been approved in 33 countries and over 537 million treatments have been distributed since 2007. In general, ASAQ is the lowest-priced of the fixed-dose ACT combinations procured by the Global Fund and public-sector procurement partners.

Investigating the use of ASAQ in "real-life" settings 

As part of its continued product surveillance plan following the launch of ASAQ, Sanofi agreed to work with MMV and DNDi in the conduct of a large phase IV study in Côte d’Ivoire, designed to detect rare adverse events in "real-life" settings (affecting 1 patient or fewer in every 5,000 treated).

The study, published in Malaria Journal in 2017, concluded that ASAQ for the treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria is well tolerated under real-life conditions in Côte d’Ivoire, and emphasized the role of properly trained community health workers to collect pharmacovigilance data in the field to document rare adverse events.1 2

→Take a look at the interactive map to see the countries where ASAQ is registered. 
  • Past and current partners:

    DNDi, Sanofi

    1. Assi SB et al. Safety of a fixed-dose combination of artesunate and amodiaquine for the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in real-life conditions of use in Côte d'Ivoire. Malaria Journal. 16(1):8 (2017).

    2. Assi SB et al. Sustained Effectiveness of a Fixed-Dose Combination of Artesunate and Amodiaquine in 480 Patients with Uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum Malaria in Côte d'Ivoire. Malar Res Treat. 2017;2017:3958765


    Updated December 2021