The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health, has reached a milestone in its efforts to support accelerated development of malaria vaccines. Working with an international group of public and private partners, NIAID has launched its first trial of a candidate malaria vaccine in a country where malaria is endemic. The Phase I trial, taking place in Mali, seeks to confirm the safety and immunogenicity in adults of a candidate vaccine called FMP-1.
A key component of the NIAID Plan for Research for Malaria Vaccine Development has been to establish, in malaria-endemic areas, research centers that can support the complex clinical development of malaria vaccines. Conducting a malaria vaccine trial in Africa is important because more than 90 percent of malaria deaths occur in Africa, and the great majority of these deaths are in young children. Each year, malaria infects an estimated 300 to 500 million people worldwide and causes more than 1 million deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
This trial, the first to be conducted by Malian researchers from the Malaria Research and Training Center in the Department of Epidemiology of Parasitic Diseases at the Medical School of the University of Bamako, is taking place in Bandiagara, Mali, with NIAID support. It reflects the result of many years of effort by a group of organizations dedicated to creating an effective malaria vaccine. In addition to NIAID and the University of Bamako, the collaborators include the University of Maryland at Baltimore; NIAIDs Malaria Vaccine Development Unit; the Malian Ministries of Health and Education; the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR); GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals (GSK); the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Laurie Doepel | EurekAlert!
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