Mymetics to advance development of virosome-based malaria vaccine candidate

In partnership with the Laboratory of Malaria Immunology and Vaccinology (LMIV) of the NIH

Switzerland-based biotechnology company Mymetics, a specialist in virosome-based vaccines to prevent transmission of human infectious diseases, is to develop virosome-based vaccine formulations for a malaria transmission-blocking vaccine candidate with funding from the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI). MVI is a global programme whose objective is to accelerate the development of malaria vaccines and speed up access in endemic countries.

Mymetics will work in partnership with the Laboratory of Malaria Immunology and Vaccinology (LMIV) of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).

These new virosome vaccine candidates will incorporate two different malaria parasite proteins supplied by LMIV and will be then separately tested in animal studies.

The project starts this month and preclinical results are expected by early 2016.

If this study is successful, the next step could be to prepare for clinical trials and also explore the possibilities to combine this vaccine with other malaria vaccine candidates focused on other aspects of preventing malaria.

Mymetics demonstrated in 2011 in a privately funded Phase 1b clinical trial in Tanzania that a virosome based vaccine for Plasmodium falciparum could reduce malaria episodes in children by more than 50%.

According to the World Health Organization, in 2013, 97 countries had ongoing malaria transmission. There were an estimated 207 million cases of malaria in 2012 and an estimated 627,000 deaths.