Novavax, CPL Biologicals and ICGEB to develop malaria vaccine

Will combine Novavax VLP vaccine technology with CPLB manufacturing and ICGEB research capabilities

Novavax, CPL Biologicals (CPLB) and the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), are collaborating to develop a malaria vaccine in India.

The partnership will combine Novavax’s virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine technology with the malaria vaccine research capabilities of ICGEB and manufacturing capability of CPLB, to develop a new and effective antimalarial.

India's Department of Biotechnology Vaccine Grand Challenge Program is funding the project, which will be managed by the Malaria Vaccine Development Program.

Gale Smith, Novavax’s vp of Vaccine Development, said: ‘By combining our knowledge and experience with these partners to pursue the most advanced malaria vaccine concepts, we hope one day to have an effective vaccine against one of the world's most devastating diseases.’

The partners will develop and evaluate VLPs that express Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP). After establishing the feasibility of Novavax's technology, the partners will explore the possibility of producing additional VLPs against antigens from other stages of malaria parasites. The partners believe a multi-stage VLP malaria vaccine has the potential to be more effective than vaccines based on a single antigen or that target only one stage of the malaria parasite.

Indravadan Modi, chairman of Cadila Pharmaceuticals, the Indian pharmaceutical firm which set up CPLB in a joint venture with Novavax, said: ‘I am confident that a multi-stage VLP malaria vaccine will prove beneficial in saving precious lives by restricting morbidity and mortality associated with malaria.’

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