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GEN News Highlights : Jul 29, 2009

Crucell and PATH Malaria Vaccine Program Get Funding to Develop a Prime-Boost Adenoviral Vaccine

Crucell’s prime malaria vaccine candidate will be teamed with boost vaccination component.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Malaria Vaccine Development Program (MVDP) is collaborating with Crucell and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) to evaluate the effectiveness of Crucell’s adenovirus-based prime-boost vaccine technology (AdVac) against Plasmodium falciparum.

Funded by the USAID MVDP, the initiative will investigate a vaccination approach that delivers the malarial circumsporozoite protein (CSP) antigen using Crucell’s adenovirus system with two different vectors: serotypes Ad35 and Ad26.  The partners claim CSP is the only antigen that has proven protective against malaria in controlled-challenge and field studies.

Crucell is already developing a recombinant CSP malaria vaccine, AD35-CS, based on the AdVac technology and its PER.C6 cell line manufacturing platform. This prime vaccine candidate is currently in Phase I trials in partnership with the NIAID. The new collaboration will allow the development of an Ad26-based boost component to the vaccine.

“The prime-boost regimen may be a critical next step in malaria vaccine development,” comments MVI director, Christian Loucq, M.D.,  “and if successful, could move us toward our goal of having an 80 percent efficacious vaccine in use by 2025.”