PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative

Partnership objective

Develop a malaria vaccine based on a novel sequence from Plasmodium circumsporozoite protein.

By partnering with a leading university laboratory with deep expertise in malaria biology and a non-for-profit R&D organization such as MVI, MSD scientists are able to make meaningful contributions towards developing a novel malaria vaccine. By partnering with a leading university laboratory with deep expertise in malaria biology and a non-for-profit R&D organization such as MVI, MSD scientists are able to make meaningful contributions towards developing a novel malaria vaccine. Copyright IFPMA

What are the health needs and challenges?

Malaria is estimated to kill close to 900,000 people each year with the majority of deaths occurring in children under the age of five in sub-Saharan Africa.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

In December 2010, MSD* announced a partnership with the NYU Langone Medical Center and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI). The collaboration focuses on creating a vaccine that prevents an essential early stage of malaria infection: the invasion of the malaria parasite into the human liver. The partnership leverages MSD's own expertise along with the NYU Langone Medical Center's extensive research into malaria and MVI's critical funding resources.

The researchers working on this project are focusing on a new approach that targets a region of the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) important to a critical function of the protein. By blocking this function, researchers hope they invasion of the parasite into the liver, an essential step in causing malaria disease, can be prevented.

Although this vaccine approach intended primarily for use in children younger than one year of age, it could be used to help prevent disease in all populations vulnerable to Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly species of the parasite, and could potentially be adapted to prevent Plasmodium vivax as well.

Lessons learned                            

By partnering with a leading university laboratory with deep expertise in malaria biology and a non-for-profit R&D organization such as MVI, MSD scientists are able to make meaningful contributions towards developing a novel malaria vaccine from the concept stage to potential vaccine candidates.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

The program scientists demonstrated proof-of-biology of the vaccine approach and MVI, is currently developing the next funding program to advance this vaccine concept.

 

*MSD is known as Merck in the U.S. and Canada.

Partnership information

Company(ies) MSD

Partner(s) New York University, PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI)

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals, PDPs

Therapeutic Focus Infectious Diseases

Disease(s) Malaria

Program Type(s) Prevention Programs - Vaccines, Research & Development - Development of Treatments

Targeted Population(s) Children, Elderly, Marginalised / Indigenous People, Men, Mothers, People with low income, Women, Youth

Region(s) East Asia & Pacific, Europe & Central Asia, Latin America & Caribbean, North America, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 122

Country(ies) Afghanistan, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, French Guiana, Gabon, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lao PDR, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Gambia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Start Date 2010

More information PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative

Anticipated completion date Ongoing

« With the availability of a first-generation malaria vaccine on the horizon, we are ramping up our efforts to seek out and invest in scientific approaches for malaria vaccines that could potentially be even more effective and protect more people. »

Dr. Christian Loucq, director of MVI