European Vaccine Initiative supports international consortia in their quest for malaria vaccines
April 22, 2014
Under the coordination of the European Vaccine Initiative (EVI), sixteen projects are devoted to the acceleration of malaria vaccine development of which two novel vaccine candidates recently received ethical and regulatory approval to start clinical development. The two new vaccine candidates – called P27A and AMA1-DiCo- form part of EVI´s sustained commitment to support the development of new solutions and strategies to combat malaria. Prof. Rainer Fischer, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME (Aachen, Germany), one of the partners in AMA1-DiCo, stresses that “effective vaccines represent a key component in the comprehensive and integrated control strategy that will be required for the ultimate eradication of malaria, and a sustained investment and innovation are absolutely critical for winning this fight.”
Thanks to concerted global action, significant progress has been made in the efforts against malaria. Since the year 2000, malaria death rates amongst young children halved and more than 3.3 million lives were saved. Despite these advances, malaria continues to take an enormous toll on human health, with an estimated 207 million malaria cases and 627,000 deaths in 2012 alone.
The major objectives of AMA1-DiCo and P27A -which are technically and financially supported by EVI- are to assess the clinical safety and immunogenicity of the two vaccine candidates. Whereas AMA1 was discovered initially during investigations surrounding the role of human antibodies in naturally acquired immunity in children in different endemic populations in Africa, P27A was identified as potential novel vaccine candidate through genome mining. Under coordination by EVI, each of the projects is undertaken by an international consortium involving partners from both public and private sector from Europe, USA, and Africa.
Dr. Odile Leroy, EVI’s Executive Director, says that “the development of next-generation malaria vaccines is of utmost importance for maximising the impact of other life-saving tools already in use. To sustain the progress achieved so far, funding levels must be maintained or increased. At EVI, we gratefully acknowledge the long-standing, sustained support to these and other projects by our funders, including especially Irish Aid, the Directorate General for International Cooperation at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European & Developing Countries’ Clinical Trials Partnership, and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.” Results of the phase I clinical trials for both projects are expected for 2015/16.
For full release: www.euvaccine.eu/news-events/news/evi-commemorates-world-malaria-day