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CAPTIVATE, a new innovative European partnership to tackle hurdles in malaria vaccine development

With cutting-edge technologies and an unwavering commitment, the EU-funded CAPTIVATE project has the mission to create a next-generation malaria vaccine that targets multiple stages of the deadliest malaria parasite, P. falciparum.

October 31, 2023

Malaria remains a significant global health issue, with approximately 247 million cases and 619,000 fatalities reported in 2021. It primarily affects the most susceptible groups, and in 2021, children under the age of 5 represented 80% of malaria-related deaths in the WHO African Region.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended the use of RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine for the prevention of P. falciparum malaria in children residing in regions with moderate to high transmission rates. Last month, WHO recommended a second malaria vaccine, R21/Matrix-MTM. Over the last 10 years, European Vaccine Initiative (EVI) has worked closely with its partners to support the development of the R21 vaccine. Implementation of both R21 and RTS,S vaccines has the potential to significantly contribute to malaria control. CAPTIVATE will complement these efforts by using new technologies to gain a better understanding of immune responses to malaria and develop the next-generation malaria vaccine.

Doctor holding malaria vaccine

CAPTIVATE will develop a new and improved vaccine targeting multiple developmental stages of P. falciparum, the most dangerous form of the malaria parasite. The consortium will optimise the efficacy of current pre-erythrocytic vaccines while evaluating the safety and immunogenicity of new blood-stage mRNA vaccine candidates, from pre-clinical testing to an early-stage clinical trial.

In parallel, the consortium will work on developing the next generation of highly efficacious malaria vaccine candidates using an advanced in-silico platform to analyse TCR- and single cell sequencing data in combination with artificial intelligence (AI) based predictions of novel malaria vaccine antigens.

Moreover, the consortium will also establish a European facility for production of malaria sporozoites for research and clinical use.

Coordinated by the EVI, CAPTIVATE assembles a unique combination of European experts in their respective fields (malaria modelling in primates, clinical vaccine testing, in-silico modelling of immune responses, innovative omics approaches) in an integrated interdisciplinary approach aimed at bringing the next generation malaria vaccines to the clinic.

Visit the project website:

Quick facts about CAPTIVATE:

Project full name: Correlates of protective immunity-driven investigation of malaria vaccine combination strategies

Start date: 01/11/2023

End Date: 30/4/2028

Funding agency: European Commission

Budget: 8,2 million euros

Coordinator: European Vaccine Initiative (EVI)

Consortium: partners from 4 EU countries and Australia



Adriana Vives

European Vaccine Initiative (EVI) - Project Manager




Immunewatch (Belgium)

EU flag emblem

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HADEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101081028.

Photo credit: Photo by


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