Since its report in January, Seeberger’s group has optimized the process, upping the yield from 39% to 65%, which allows them to purify the product via crystallization rather than chromatography. The ultimate impact of the continuous-flow process remains to be seen. Sanofi has no plan to adopt it for artemisinin production, but Seeberger has set up a company, ArtemiFlow, in Potsdam, Germany, aimed at making the drug. Seeberger and coworkers are in the process of finishing a reactor that will produce more than 1 metric ton of artemisinin per year, he tells C&EN. The company is also developing a 10-ton reactor. (emphasis mine)As of June, there didn't seem to be any plans to take this route into the plant, but it looks like things will have changed. It will be interesting to see how far Seeberger gets -- so far, there doesn't seem to be an actual website, as Artemiflow.com diverts to the Seeberger Group page.
[Is anyone else skeptical-ish about those numbers? I suppose "tens or hundreds of kilograms" is not very sexy. I'm terribly curious as to what kind of operation would be required (24-hour-a-day?) to reach a metric ton per year. (Well, not that much, really. 4 kg a day? 20 kg a week?)]
Best wishes to them.