Martin Shkreli's not mad teens made his drug for about $2 a dose, you are


Remember Martin Shkreli? Pharma troll and fan of both Donald Trump and the Wu-Tang Clan?

He just got schooled by a bunch of teens, but he's not mad about it. Not at all. You are.

Shkreli became notorious in 2015 after he acquired the rights to Daraprim, a treatment for a parasitic infection that affects people with low immune symptoms like pregnant women and HIV sufferers. His troll achievement was unlocked when he raised the price of the drug from $13.50 to $750 per pill to huge public outcry.

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Former drug company executive Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, departs after a hearing at U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., June 26, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Martin Shkreli, chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, center, and attorney Evan Greebel, left, exit federal court in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. Shkreli was arrested on alleged securities fraud related to Retrophin Inc., a biotech firm he founded in 2011. Greebel is accused of conspiring with Shkreli in part of the scheme. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Martin Shkreli, chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, exits federal court in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. Shkreli was arrested on alleged securities fraud related to Retrophin Inc., a biotech firm he founded in 2011. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Martin Shkreli, chief investment officer of MSMB Capital Management, sits for a photograph in his office in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. MSMB made an unsolicited $378 million takeover bid for Amag Pharmaceuticals Inc. and said it will fire the drugmaker's top management if successful. Photographer: Paul Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images ***Local Caption ** Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli, chief investment officer of MSMB Capital Management, works on a computer in his office in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. MSMB made an unsolicited $378 million takeover bid for Amag Pharmaceuticals Inc. and said it will fire the drugmaker's top management if successful. Photographer: Paul Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images ***Local Caption ** Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli, chief investment officer of MSMB Capital Management, sits behind a chess board in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. MSMB made an unsolicited $378 million takeover bid for Amag Pharmaceuticals Inc. and said it will fire the drugmaker's top management if successful. Photographer: Paul Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images ***Local Caption ** Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli (L), former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, arrives for a hearing at U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, U.S. October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, departs following a hearing at U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., April 26, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Martin Shkreli (C), former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, arrives for a hearing at U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, U.S. October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Martin Shkreli (C), former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, arrives at a U.S. Federal Court in New York, U.S., June 6, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Former drug executive Martin Shkreli exits the U.S. Federal Courthouse in the Brooklyn borough of New York February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Martin Shkreli (top, R), former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, arrives before a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on "Developments in the Prescription Drug Market Oversight" on Capitol Hill in Washington February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals AG, right, exits federal court with his attorney Benjamin Brafman in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., on Thursday, June 29, 2017. Shkreli is accused of engineering separate frauds tied to his control of two hedge funds he ran as well as�Retrophin Inc., a pharmaceutical company he founded in 2011. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Martin Shkreli (C), chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, departs U.S. Federal Court after an arraignment following his being charged in a federal indictment filed in Brooklyn relating to his management of hedge fund MSMB Capital Management and biopharmaceutical company Retrophin Inc. in New York December 17, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Bloomberg Best of the Year 2016: Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, reacts during a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on prescription drug prices in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Shkreli, who is no longer with Turing and faces federal fraud charges unrelated to the drugmaker, declined to make any comments to the committee. 'On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment,' Shkreli said. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, smiles during a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on prescription drug prices in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Shkreli, who is no longer with Turing and faces federal fraud charges unrelated to the drugmaker, declined to make any comments to the committee. 'On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment,' Shkreli said. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Things have not slowed down for our man Shkreli since. His company Kalobios filed for bankruptcy, he spent $2 million on the world's only copy of a Wu-Tang Clan album, and most recently, he hosted a Brooklyn happy hour after an appearance in court for securities fraud charges.

Now a group of Sydney students have casually created the key ingredient in Daraprim in their high school lab for around $2 per dose, Fairfax Media reported.

Under the guidance of Sydney University chemist Alice Williamson, the Sydney Grammar School students used 17 grams of relatively cheap 2,4-chlorophenyl acetonitrile to produce 3.7 grams of pyrimethamine, otherwise known as Daraprim.

"That's about $US110,000 worth of the drug," Williamson told the publication, taking into account Shkreli's price gouging.

Ever a keyboard warrior, Shkreli tweeted Thursday that he was not impressed. "Yea uh anyone can make any drug it is pretty ez," he wrote.

The school project was part of the University of Sydney's Open Source Malaria Consortium, which is looking for a cure to malaria though free sharing of scientific data.

Unfortunately, the students won't be able to help customers in the U.S., despite their good intentions. The drug sells for A$1 to A$2 per pill in Australia, the ABC reported.

Matthew Todd, who also works with the Consortium, told Fairfax Media that Turing Pharmaceuticals controls its "distribution and sale" thanks to a legal loophole.

"To take the drug to market as a generic, you need to compare it to Turing's product. If Turing won't allow the comparisons to take place, you'd need to fund a whole new trial."

In the meantime, Williamson will continue harnessing the power of high school chemistry enthusiasts, encouraging them to start "breaking good," unlike Mr. Shkreli.

"Open source drug discovery provide a unique opportunity for undergraduates and high school students to be engaged in a real research project," she said at a recent TEDx event in Sydney.

"If we could get into this untapped resource and mobile the Walter Whites ... think of what we could achieve."


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