Novel malaria vaccine

Novel malaria vaccine

The opportunity

  • Malaria remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.
  • Antimalarial resistance is a major problem and existing vaccines are inadequate.
  • Novel vaccines targeting critical steps in multiple lifecycle stages have the greatest chance of success.

In the past decade, malaria disease caused more than four million deaths. The deadliest causative species, Plasmodium falciparum, displays resistance against frontline antimalarials and the current vaccine exhibits only limited efficacy.

A vaccine that targets the symptomatic blood stage of infection is urgently required to augment transmission-blocking vaccines currently in development.

Scientific figure

The technology

We have identified a critical protein complex required by the parasite to invade red blood cells.

Antibodies targeting this complex block the interaction between the parasite and host red blood cells that is necessary for invasion of the cell. This prevents a blood-stage parasite infection and will form the basis of an effective next-generation malaria vaccine.

Scientific figure

Opportunities for partnership

This is an opportunity to develop the first effective vaccine that protects against malaria.

We have:

  • Deep knowledge and world-class expertise in malaria biology, expression systems to produce antigens and facilities to conduct infection and challenge studies.
  • Identified antigens as lead vaccine candidates that can completely block P. falciparum invasion in vivo and are identifying antigen combinations to block multiple stages of the parasite lifecycle.
  • Granted patents identifying blood-stage antigens that block parasite invasion and protect against malaria infection.

We are seeking:

  • A partner to co-develop our novel vaccine and investment in development to advance the project towards clinical trials.
  • Platform technologies or adjuvants to further enhance antibody production.

Scientific team

Professor Alan Cowman, Deputy Director, Scientific Strategy, and Laboratory Head, Infectious Disease and Immune Defence division

Dr Julie Healer, Insectary and project manager, Infectious Disease and Immune Defence division

Contact

Dr Anne-Laure Puaux, Head, Commercialisation

Phone: +61 3 9345 2175 

Email: partnering@wehi.edu.au