A new, patent-protected drug known as SM934, a water-soluble artemisinin derivative developed by the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), will undergo Phase 2 clinical trial in China.

The investigational drug to treat Lupus has been approved by China’s National Medical Products Administration. The drug completed its first human trial and is now entering in Phase 2 trials at a hospital in Shanghai.


A person is diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder called Systemic lupus erythematosus, or lupus, when the human immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues. It can strike across many regions of the body from the kidney to skin, joints and blood cells, to the heart and lungs.

Nearly one million people in China are suffering from the disorder. New drug development and any breakthrough therapy has been incredibly challenging.

Who is Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica

Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (hereafter referred to as SIMM), Chinese Academy of Sciences (hereafter referred to as CAS), has the longest history as a comprehensive research institution for drug discovery in China. SIMM was evolved from Peking Institute of Materia Medica Academia Sinica, founded in 1932 by Professor Chenggu Zhao (T. Q. Chou). It was relocated to Wukang Road, Shanghai, in 1933, then to Yueyang Road in 1953, and settled down in Zhang Jiang Hi-Tech Park, Pudong New District in 2003.

In line with the mission of “Discovering new drugs to relieve patients suffering from various diseases,” SIMM has developed and commercialized over 100 new drugs in the past 80 years. Among them are a number of innovative drugs, such as Artemether, Dimercaptosuccinic acid, and Huperzine A, etc., have gained domestic and abroad recognition. In recent years, SIMM has witnessed the development of some novel drugs, including Depsides salts, a modern Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and Antofloxacin Hydrochloride, a novel fluoroquinolone antibacterial agent. Currently, SIMM has a number of candidates in clinical stages.

Since the implementation of the Knowledge Innovation Program of CAS, developing novel drugs has become a paramount research focus of SIMM in recent years. In line with frontiers in life sciences and aiming at solving key scientific problems in drug discovery, SIMM carries out both basic and applied studies and develops new theories, methods and technologies. Research priorities are given to treat major diseases, such as cancers, cardio-cerebrovascular diseases, neuropsychiatric diseases, metabolic diseases, autoimmune diseases, and infectious diseases. SIMM also pays attention to the development of modern traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Through several generations’ efforts, SIMM has become one of the leading interdisciplinary research centers in China. It is recognized worldwide by its outstanding achievements and distinguished research teams.

Source: Xinhua Net

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