Germany: Vaccine Development Biontech Plans to Develop First mRNA-Based Malaria Vaccine
German biopharmaceutical company Biontech announced plans for the development of the first mRNA-based vaccine for Malaria prevention with the initiation of a clinical trial by end of 2022.
Mainz/Germany — Biontech announced the launch of its Malaria project, which aims to develop a well-tolerated and highly effective Malaria vaccine and implement sustainable vaccine supply solutions on the African continent.
In a first step, the company wants to develop an mRNA vaccine with durable protective immunity to prevent Malaria and disease-associated mortality. To this end, the biopharmaceutical company wants to assess multiple vaccine candidates featuring known Malaria targets such as the circumsporozoite protein (CSP), as well as new antigens discovered in the pre-clinical research phase. The most promising mRNA vaccine candidates are to be be selected for clinical development. The start of the clinical trial for the first vaccine candidate is planned for the end of 2022. The Malaria vaccine development program is an extension of the manufacturer’s Covid-19 vaccine efforts. Biontech has co-developed the first mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine together with its partner Pfizer.
The second objective is the development of sustainable vaccine production and supply solutions on the African continent. The company is exploring possibilities to set up state-of-the-art mRNA manufacturing facilities, either with partners or on its own. The facilities are expected to manufacture various mRNA-based vaccines upon approval to ensure sustainable supply operations. Biontech plans to co-locate its African manufacturing capabilities with the technology transfer hubs under development by the WHO, in alignment with the African manufacturing strategy created by the Africa CDC. This strategy aims to expand the capacity of low- and middle-income countries to manufacture contemporary vaccines end-to-end, and scale up production to increase global access.
This Malaria project is part of the “eradicate Malaria” initiative, led by the Kenup Foundation, to accelerate the eradication of Malaria. The Kenup Foundation is a non-profit public benefit foundation supporting research-based innovation in the wider health industries for societal benefit.