Malaria vaccine displays 100% success rate in clinical trial

pharmafile | February 16, 2017 | News story | Research and Development Vaccine, malaria 

A malaria vaccine, jointly developed by the University of Tübingen and biotech company Sanaria Inc., has demonstrated in a small pool of people that it can provide 100% protection against malaria for as much as 10-weeks, if not potentially longer. The vaccine worked by introducing sporozites from malaria-causing parasites paired with the medication necessary to destroy the sporozites.

The Phase 2 study only contained 67 people but the results were promising enough to gain worldwide attention. 483,000 people died from malaria last year and there were a total of 214 million infections in 2015. This is why there is such interest in the vaccine, particularly in in regards to treatment in Africa – where most of the victims are children under the age of five.

The vaccine was administered to three different groups, with varying levels of strength of dosage. The lowest dose had 33% protection, the middle group experienced 67% percent protection and the highest strength displayed 100% protection. The vaccine is administered through direct venous inoculation, with live malaria parasites and the medicine, chloroquine, that has been used to treat malaria for many years.

“By vaccinating with a live, fully active pathogen, it seems clear that we were able to set off a very strong immune response,” commented study leader Benjamin Mordmueller, “Additionally, all the data we have so far indicate that what we have here is relatively stable, long-lasting protection.”

The malaria-carrying parasites means of spreading through the body is to move to the liver to reproduce. There it can remain undetected by the body, and the immune system, before it reaches a point where it can spread out to the rest of the body. By then, the immune reaction can be too slow to combat the infection. This vaccine effectively mimics the second part of this process, whereby the immune reaction can begin immediately against the parasite.

The next step for the vaccine is to move into larger human studies and the researches will be funded to test its efficacy, by DZIF, in vaccination centres in Gabon.

Ben Hargreaves

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