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German pharma company hires Dauphin County exec for U.S. deal

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Adam Maust
Adam Maust - (Photo / )

The U.S. subsidiary of a German pharmaceutical company hired a CEO from Central Pennsylvania to help close on a deal to begin large-scale production of malaria and cancer medicine in the states.

Potsdam, Germany-based ArtemiFlow said this week that it is hiring Adam Maust, formerly the political director of the Pennsylvania House Republican Campaign Committee and a Harrisburg resident, as CEO of ArtemiFlow’s American subsidiary, ArtemiFlow USA.

The appointment comes as ArtemiFlow searches for a location in the eastern and central U.S. for a facility that would process a plant known as sweet wormwood to make a highly sought-after malaria and cancer medication. The drug found in sweet wormwood is known as artemisinin. 

ArtemiFlow is looking at a handful of locations and southern Pennsylvania is on the shortlist, according to Kerry Gilmore, ArtemiFlow’s president.

 Maust was hired for his political experience and to form partnerships with local governments where ArtemiFlow is looking to begin processing.

“Adam Maust has proven to have the experience, ingenuity and the relationships needed to lead ArtemiFlow from the development stage into production at a massive scale,” Dr. Peter Seeberger, ArtemiFlow’s founder, said in a statement.

The company has spent the past six years honing a new process to industrialize the production of sweet wormwood, an Asian plant similar to tobacco. Gilmore said that basing production and farming in the United States will allow for the entire production line, from planting seeds to producing a pill, to take place in one location.

Gilmore expects the company’s focus on keeping the supply chain in one place to reduce costs compared to ArtemiFlow’s competitors.

“One of the limitations of producing this medication is that it has not been truly industrialized,” Gilmore said, adding that the plant is mostly grown in China and Vietnam. “It gets bought up by middle men to take it to the extraction facility. All in all, about eight different middle men are involved and it jumps in price every time.”

Within six months ArtemiFlow expects to pick a location for its extraction facility and to begin working with local farmers to produce sweet wormwood. Gilmore said the hiring of Maust will help the plan move along quickly to the production phase.

“This was the last piece of the puzzle that we needed to move the company forward,” Gilmore said. “We are confident that we have the expertise needed to take us from now to the plants and the pharmaceuticals themselves.”

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Ioannis Pashakis

Ioannis Pashakis

Ioannis Pashakis covers health care and Lancaster County. Email him at ipashakis@cpbj.com.

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