Miguel Prudencio of Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Portugal will test the theory that modified live rodent malaria parasites (P. berghei) can be used in a vaccine to elicit a strong immune response in humans without being able to infect human red blood cells and cause illness. This was successfully tested in Phase I, and they also established that the human antigens carried by the parasites could induce a selective immune response in mice. In Phase II, they will test their vaccine in Phase I/IIa human trials and evaluate it for safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity. They will also extend their approach to another human malaria parasite P. vivax, and begin optimizing methods for large-scale vaccine production.
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