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World Malaria Day 2023

25 April 2023

On April 25th, we celebrate World Malaria Day and reflect on the progress that has been made in the fight against malaria. This year's theme, "Ready to Beat Malaria", reminds us of the significant strides that have been made towards eradicating this disease and the importance of continuing our efforts.

For over two decades, the European Vaccine Initiative (EVI) - initially established as the European Malaria Vaccine Initiative - has supported the development of safe, effective, and affordable malaria vaccines to help combat the global burden of this disease, which primarily affects people in sub-Saharan Africa. While the global community has made remarkable progress in eliminating malaria, much work remains to be done. According to the World Malaria Report 2022[1], there were an estimated 247 million cases of malaria in 2021, claiming an estimated 619 000 lives, the vast majority of whom were children under the age of 5. To be ready to beat malaria, the world needs safe and highly effective vaccines against all types of malaria. EVI remains dedicated to work with our many partners across the globe to achieve this important goal.

EVI has played a key role in the development of several malaria vaccine candidates that tackle the parasite’s complexity. This encompasses vaccine candidates that target different phases of the parasite's lifecycle (pre-erythrocytic, blood, transmission blocking and multi-stage vaccine candidates that incorporate multiple of these approaches), and with a particular focus on vulnerable populations such as children and pregnant women.

In collaboration with partners from Africa, Europe, and Japan EVI is leading the development of two vaccine candidates against placental malaria, PRIMVAC and PAMVAC. Building on the success of previous phase Ia/Ib trials in Europe and Africa, a phase II trial will be conducted in P. falciparum-exposed women of childbearing potential to assess PRIMVAC preliminary efficacy. In parallel, PRIMVAC and a re-engineered version of PAMVAC based on capside-Virus-Like-Particles (cVLPs) will be further evaluated in co-administration and/or in formulation with different adjuvants, with the ultimate goal to improve vaccine immunogenicity and protective efficacy

As a partner in the MVPE-CC project, EVI is supporting the widespread use of the RTS,S malaria vaccine, which was recommended by the WHO in 2021 for children at risk. Additionally, EVI's diverse malaria vaccine portfolio includes the R21 candidate vaccine, which recently demonstrated high-level efficacy of 77% over 12 months of follow-up in Burkina Faso. This vaccine is currently undergoing a large-scale phase III trial in Africa, raising hopes for a second-generation malaria vaccine to be licensed in the near future. EVI is also working on the clinical development of several blood-stage malaria vaccine candidates, which are showing promising safety and immunogenicity results. EVI is also actively involved in capacity building, networking and community/stakeholder engagement activities to ensure that the local communities are empowered and ready to beat malaria.

Credits: Mwangi Kirubi, PMI Impact Malaria

At EVI, we remain committed to reducing the malaria disease burden and saving lives through diverse approaches and impactful collaborations. On World Malaria Day 2023, let us renew our commitment to ending malaria and building a healthier, more prosperous world for all.

For a disease that takes a child's life every two minutes and puts half the world's population at risk, let's be #ReadytoBeatMalaria and end it within a generation.

Read more about recent EVI malaria project portfolio:


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