Scientific Contact

Prof. Dr. Peter H. Seeberger
Prof. Dr. Peter H. Seeberger
Phone:+49 30 838-59300

Max-Planck-Institut für Kolloid- und Grenzflächenforschung, Potsdam

www.peter-seeberger.de

Press Contact

Gabriele Ebel, M.A.
Gabriele Ebel, M.A.
Phone: +49 391 6110 144

Related Articles

All of the best currently available pharmaceuticals against malaria can now be produced in pure form using a single process, even from the waste of the plant-extraction. The method which has been developed allows for the complete production of anti-malaria medicines, in a continuous fashion, utilizing one reactor at one location. The process can also utilize both artemisinin and the plant waste product to produce these medicines, allowing for more material to be used and medicines produced without having to increase the amount of material farmed. The ability to utilize multiple sources for production builds on the photochemical reactor developed two years ago by the same scientists in Berlin. In collaboration with Prof. Andreas Seidel Morgenstern from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, it is possible, for the first time, to produce multiple medicines – pure – in a continuous and automated fashion utilizing a single process. The purity of the final compounds exceeds the limits set by certification authorities such as the WHO and the FDA.

Malaria Medications from Waste

September 10, 2014

All of the best currently available pharmaceuticals against malaria can now be produced in pure form using a single process, even from the waste of the plant-extraction. The method which has been developed allows for the complete production of anti-malaria medicines, in a continuous fashion, utilizing one reactor at one location. The process can also utilize both artemisinin and the plant waste product to produce these medicines, allowing for more material to be used and medicines produced without having to increase the amount of material farmed. The ability to utilize multiple sources for production builds on the photochemical reactor developed two years ago by the same scientists in Berlin. In collaboration with Prof. Andreas Seidel Morgenstern from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, it is possible, for the first time, to produce multiple medicines – pure – in a continuous and automated fashion utilizing a single process. The purity of the final compounds exceeds the limits set by certification authorities such as the WHO and the FDA. [more]

Award-winning Prof. Dr. Peter H. Seeberger und Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Seidel-Morgenstern in New Orleans

German Malaria Researchers from Berlin and Magdeburg win International „Humanity in Science" Award

March 11, 2015

Chemist Prof. Peter H. Seeberger and chemical engineer Prof. Andreas Seidel-Morgenstern have been selected as the inaugural “Humanity in Science” prize winners. Seeberger, director at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces Potsdam and professor at the Freie Universität Berlin and Seidel-Morgenstern, director at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems Magdeburg and professor for chemical engineering at the Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg, won the prize for their groundbreaking work in developing new production methods for antimalarial drugs. They received the “Humanity in Science” prize during a gala dinner on March 10, 2015 in New Orleans, USA. The prize money is 25.000 USD (roughly 22.500 €). The award was launched in 2014 by the “The Analytical Scientist” a journal and Phenomenex, a separation technology company.
left: Prof. Peter H. Seeberger, Director at Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (Foto: MPI Colloids and Interfaces / Anne Heinlein)right: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Seidel-Morgenstern, Director at Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of  Complexer Technical Systems Magdeburg (Foto: MPI Magdeburg / Bastian Ehl) Zoom Image
left: Prof. Peter H. Seeberger, Director at Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (Foto: MPI Colloids and Interfaces / Anne Heinlein)
right: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Seidel-Morgenstern, Director at Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of  Complexer Technical Systems Magdeburg (Foto: MPI Magdeburg / Bastian Ehl) [less]

The scientists developed a new production method to synthesize and purify the malaria medication Artesunate using plant waste, light and air. A combined effort by both scientists resulted in an essential contribution to the fight against malaria.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Seidel-Morgenstern: „ My colleague Peter Seeberger contacted me after his initial success, when he developed a new continuous photochemical reaction to produce artemisinin from the waste of the usual production. He wanted to know if we were interested in researching the possibility of a continuous purification for the continuous synthesis. As malaria is a disease of poverty we tried to find a solution which had to be simple and cost-effective.”

Prof. Peter H. Seeberger emphasizes: „The method invented by Andreas Seidel-Morgenstern’s team is astonishingly simple, but highly effective. Further advances came by close collaboration. We succeeded in producing the actual medications used in the tablets, derivatives from artemisinin like artesunate, in our continuous reactor as well. And Andreas Seidel-Morgenstern’s scientists found a brilliant method for continuous purification of these active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

Using this method, the researchers were able to double the yield of the active compounds from the plant. At the same time the costs to obtain the APIs were lowered. The purity of the final product Artesunate, a common problem of other synthesis processes, is more than 99.5%.

Industrialization of the patented methods is the task of Artemiflow, a Max Planck spin off company. Currently a first production plant is in development phase in Vietnam. Prof. Seeberger: “We found a private investor in Vietnam, and our work was met with interest of the Vietnamese government. Using well organized campaigns, Vietnam managed to practically eradicate malaria in recent years, there are only limited cases from time to time – quite an achievement! Our technology will secure the existence of thousands of farmers in Vietnam cultivating Artemisia annua, the plant producing the intermediate compound artemisinin, which is the basis for producing artesunate. Vietnam wants to help African countries to fight malaria with low cost medications in a south-south collaboration.

Seeberger emphasizes: “The Max Planck society funded our basic research. As there was no further funding available we had to become entrepreneurs to bring the technology to industrial scale. We hope our cooperation with a developing country will improve the situation of malaria patients worldwide.”

The Humanity in Science Award

The Humanity in Science Award is an international research prize that was launched in 2014 by “The Analytical Scientist”, a scientific publication and Phenomenex, a separation technology company. The Humanity in Science Award was launched to recognize and reward analytical scientists who are changing lives for the better worldwide. Worthy prizes can be technologies, a process, or a product improving e.g. food or water safety, or research on pharmaceuticals, biofuels or other relevant applications. The prize is rewarded annually, this year for the first time in New Orleans in connection with the Pittcon 2015, the world largest conference for laboratory science.

 
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