Title: The Search for Antimalarial Drugs and the Discovery of Artemisinin
Author: Li Runhong,Zhang Daqing    
Jounal: Chinese Annals of History of Science and Technology
YEAR: 2020
Vol.: 4
No.: 2
Page: 73–134
With its novel chemical structure, artemisinin is an antimalarial component isolated from the traditional Chinese medicine qinghao (Artemisia annua L.). Nowadays, artemisinin and its derivatives are used compatibly with new synthesized chemical antimalarial compounds to create artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). These have become the first choice in treating malaria p.f. all over the world, providing an effective solution for the global challenge of curing drug-resistant malaria. Among the five ACTs recommended by the WHO, two were initiated in China and are used as the first-line treatment of falciparum malaria in all malaria endemic areas. As the use of artemisinin-based compound drugs have made such significant contributions to rolling back malaria, regarded as one of the great achievements globally in public health of the early twenty-first century, Tu Youyou, one of the most important researchers in the discovery of artemisinin, was made the first Nobel Prize laureate in Physiology or Medicine from the Chinese mainland. Artemisinin was discovered in a special social and cultural context through a combination of the exploration of traditional Chinese medical literature with the modern research approach of pharmaceutical sciences. This (Project 523) is a typical case of goal-oriented research leading to scientific advance, and the result of scientific research driven by the national needs.