The European Vaccine Initiative (EVI) said on Tuesday that two of its 16 projects to develop a malaria vaccine received ethical and regulatory approval to begin clinical stages of research.
The two candidates, P27A and AMA1-DiCo, are supported technically and financially by EVI. P27A was developed through genome mining, and AMA1 was discovered during research on human antibodies that develop natural immunity in children living in endemic regions.
"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." Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME Director Rainer Fischer said.
Advances in malaria treatments have saved more than 3.3 million lives, but approximately 207 million cases were reported in 2012 and 627,000 people died from the disease that same year.
"The development of next-generation malaria vaccines is of utmost importance for maximizing the impact of other life-saving tools already in use," EVI Executive Director Odile Leroy said. "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."