IDRI to develop new malaria vaccine

The Infectious Disease Research Institute recently announced that it has agreed upon a memorandum of understanding with the United States Agency for International Development to help with the development of a new malaria vaccine.

"The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research is pleased that both IDRI and USAID have partnered with us in helping support the development of malaria vaccines to prevent infection in children worldwide and to protect our men and women serving in uniform in areas of the world where malaria is still a major infectious disease," Col. Christian Ockenhouse, director of WRAIRs' Malaria Vaccine Development Program, said.

The memorandum focuses on collaboration between IDRI and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research for the creation of a novel malaria vaccine that combines WRAIR’s malaria antigen CeITOS with IDRI’s GLA-SE adjuvant.

Preclinical studies of a combination between CeITOS and GLA-SE have been successful in eliciting a protective immune response in small animals during the infectious mosquito stage of malaria parasites. Immunized mice were shown to be protected against other distantly related malaria strains as well.

USAID was responsible for funding WRAIR’s preclinical studies of the antigen, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded IDRI’a adjuvant development activities. A phase I clinical trial with a human malaria challenge will be funded with money coming from all four institutions.

"The collaboration with WRAIR illustrates again the broad utility of GLA-SE as a vaccine adjuvant," Dr. Steven Reed, IDRI's president and chief scientific officer, said. "We are very excited to be moving this important project ahead and particularly pleased with the validating interest from USAID."