Areas of Focus
Alternative sources of artemisinin
Artemisinin is the key component in artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs), which is the WHO recommended treatment for malaria. Zagaya is working to promote the manufacture and distribution of ACTs made with semi-synthetic artemisinin to reduce the cost of ACTs for patients. This is a continuation of the original work Zagaya was founded to pursue. You can learn more about the history of Zagaya here.
Zagaya is also working on conversion methods to create artemisinin from its precursors and the manufacturing of those precursors. Specfically, Zagaya is working with partners on chemical conversion methods to convert amorphadiene (AD) or artemisinic acid (AA) into artemisinin. These precursors can be developed through synthetic biology, or they can be obtained from the waste streams from the plant-based artemisinin extraction process.
In search of a way to stop the malaria vector, Zagaya has recently started collaborating with UK-based company Oxitec to help find a transgenic solution for mosquito control. Oxitec uses an innovative method called RIDL technology to limit the growth of insect populations. Oxitec has already seen great success at halting the growth of the Aedes aegypti populations in several field studies. The ultimate goal is to combine the power of this safe and innovative vector control method with a secure source of ACTs to eliminate malaria.
Zagaya also supports various other organizations and academic groups with project and program management services for their grants and development programs related to malaria elimination.
Zagaya enables and facilitates local cross-sector collaboration between academia, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, non-profits, and more by organizing local San Francisco Bay Area events. Zagaya hosts quarterly research-oriented Bay Area Malaria Meetings (BAMM) for local researchers and students to meet in an informal setting to share ideas, get feedback, and network for potential collaborations. We also host an annual scientific symposium each World Malaria Day called the Bay Area World Malaria Day Symposium in a larger effort to update the local malaria community on new and innovative research, interventions, advocacy and policies.