EDCTP funds three large portfolio projects on malaria vaccine development with a total value of €45 million. The projects focus on a number of candidate vaccines against various stages of the malaria parasite.
MMVC, the Multi-Stage Malaria Vaccine Consortium, is led by Professor Adrian Hill from Oxford University, United Kingdom, and aims to develop the first multi-stage vaccine for malaria designed to target all four stages of the Plasmodium falciparum parasite’s life-cycle. This highly ambitious project encompasses a series of tightly coordinated lead-in trials building towards a phase IIb efficacy trial. Since 2018, a number of trials have been initiated in Kenya, Tanzania and Burkina Faso with promising preliminary results obtained for the pre-erythrocytic candidate R21/Matrix-M.
The MIMVaC-Africa consortium started in February 2020 with a highly ambitious programme to conduct clinical trials on a portfolio of five malaria vaccine candidates: three pre-erythrocytic vaccine candidates (R21/Matrix-M, the chemically attenuated whole sporozoite vaccine and the ME-TRAP viral vectors) and two blood-stage candidates (PfRH5/Matrix-M and the NPC-SE36/CpG).
The project is led by Dr Sodiomon Bienvenu Sirima of the Groupe de Recherche Action en Santé (GRAS), Burkina Faso. The consortium will leverage its recently developed capacity to work with the controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) challenge model. The project will rapidly test and compare the vaccine candidates in Europe and Africa in order to select the most promising for the field efficacy trials in Africa. The MIMVaC-Africa programme will also strengthen the research capacity of the African clinical research sites.
The PfTBV consortium is coordinated by Dr Issaka Sagara of the University of Sciences, Techniques and Technologies in Bamako, Mali, with research sites in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Liberia and Mali. The consortium aims to evaluate a portfolio of three innovative candidate malaria vaccines that aim to block transmission of the parasite with antigens (Pfs48/45, Pfs230 and a Pfs230-Pfs48/45 chimeric antigen). Recently, its first year of activities was completed; a phase II community trial is ongoing to determine if the experimental malaria transmission blocking vaccine (Pfs230D1M-EPA/AS01) is safe and can provide a protective immune response in Malian children and adults.
Several important studies are conducted by recipients of EDCTP fellowship grants. The EDCTP fellowship scheme aims to support the development of scientific leadership in sub-Saharan Africa and to provide up-and-coming researchers with the opportunity to develop their clinical research skills.
Professor Faith Osier has created an international network to map the malaria parasite diversity across Africa, a key step in the development of more effective malaria vaccines. More in the EDCTP online portfolio.
Dr Dominic Mosha evaluates the safety of a single low-dose primaquine co-administered with ACT in routine healthcare practices. The aim is to study the implementation of a WHO-recommended treatment regime. More in the EDCTP online portfolio.
Dr Laurent Dembele aims to establish a screening model for malaria liver-stage infection by Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium ovale using field-isolated sporozoites from infected mosquitoes. More in the EDCTP online portfolio.