European Malaria Vaccine Development Association
EMVDA seeks to deliver progress in one specific area of the European Commission’s policy initiative: that of developing a malaria vaccine to reduce the global burden of malaria. EMVDA provides the resources of its membership of leading European research laboratories to bring innovative elements into the structure and exploit new facilities to develop and test vaccine candidates. It joins this effort to African efforts to obtain and deploy a malaria vaccine. As an integral part of the malaria vaccine research and development process, EMVDA offers research partnerships and training to African scientists.
Although Europe has a strong tradition and current strength in malaria research, it has not developed sufficient organisation to integrate applied research and industrial infrastructure. It is thus suboptimally exploiting its fundamental scientific research.
Objectives and Major Milestones
The overall objective of the project is to develop a vaccine to protect against Plasmodium falciparum malaria in endemic areas. To do this a scientific and technological structure supported by effective management has been established to move malaria vaccine candidates from preclinical to early phase clinical development. Stringent go/no-go criteria have been used to assess and compare competing antigens and delivery systems to focus resources on to the most credible vaccine candidates. Vaccine candidates are those of EMVDA partners and vaccines candidates selected through open calls. Emphasis and resources are focused on moving vaccine candidates into Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) production and Phase I clinical trials.
Exploiting the capabilities of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), European malaria vaccine research centres, EVI, and African Partner Groups (already linked through the African Malaria Network Trust (AMANET)), the consortium has selected and promoted the development of the best candidates from a group of projects in a candidate development pipeline that reaches from antigen validation and the creation of a vaccine development rationale to early proof-of-principle clinical trials.
The project is organised in six work package groups:
- Candidate antigens,
- Platforms and adjuvants,
- Vaccine development cross-cutting issues including assays for vaccine evaluation,
- Demonstration activities including GMP production and Phase I clinical trials,
- Training (PhD students), integration and partnership activities, and
- Management activities comprising both consortium management and product development management.
An important achievement of harmonisation activities has been the establishment of a Reference Reagent Repository (http://www.malariaresearch.eu/)
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