Medicine In Need (MEND) Receives $3 Million Grant From the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Apply Advanced Formulation Technologies to the Stabilization of New Malaria Vaccine Candidates

Jun 03, 2010, 08:00 ET from Medicine in Need

BOSTON, June 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- MEND is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a new grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to explore and apply a set of formulation technologies to allow a live attenuated malaria vaccine candidate to be manufactured, transported, and stored by significantly less complex and less costly means than it currently requires.  In addition, progress on this project should have, by extension, beneficial implications to the broad and growing field of live vaccine research and development.

At this time, one of the most promising candidates in the malaria vaccine pipeline (developed by Sanaria Inc.) is composed of attenuated, purified, cryopreserved Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites (PfSPZ). Attenuated PfSPZ have been demonstrated to protect greater than 90% of individuals for at least 10 months without additional immunization when administered by mosquito bite.  Currently the SanariaTM PfSPZ Vaccine is stabilized by cryopreservation at temperatures below -140 degrees C. MEND is working with Sanaria to find alternative approaches to product thermostabilization, an important consideration as clinical trials of the vaccine progress.

Sanaria has been highly successful in the creation of a robust and reproducible manufacturing process that meets regulatory requirements of the FDA, and the PfSPZ Vaccine has entered Phase I clinical testing.  Additional clinical trials are planned, with the ultimate goal of future commercial availability of the vaccine to prevent the hundreds of millions of cases and one million deaths caused by malaria annually.  

About Malaria:

Malaria is a parasitic disease that claims the lives of nearly 3,000 Africans each day – the vast majority are children under age 5. African governments spend an estimated 40 percent of healthcare budgets on malaria control efforts aimed at education, prevention and treatment.  Along with the cost of healthcare, an estimated  $12 billion in productivity and resources are lost annually due to malaria. The greater than 250 million people who become sick with the symptoms of fever and headache aren't able to go to work or school, and healthy family members are forced to leave work to care for their ill relatives. While drug therapy, when properly administered is generally very effective, resistance to the current front line antimalarial artemesinin has recently been found in Western Cambodia, and introduces further cause for concern.

About Medicine in Need (MEND):

MEND is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization devoted to the successful development and manufacture of affordable and effective vaccines and drugs for diseases of poverty with characteristics that allow their widespread use and sustainability.  

We accomplish our mission by applying appropriate advanced technologies (either those we have in-house or sourced from an external network) to a candidate's basic formulation, manufacturing process, and/or route of administration.

MEND has offices and laboratories in Pretoria, South Africa, Paris, France, and Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Our pipeline consists of several partnered or individual product candidates encompassing vaccines, drugs and diagnostics for a wide range of infectious diseases endemic to the developing world.

http://www.medicineinneed.org

About Sanaria Inc:

Sanaria Inc. was founded in 2003. The company's primary mission is to develop and commercialize attenuated whole parasite malaria vaccines that confer high-level, long-lasting protection against Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite responsible for most of the malaria-associated severe illness and death worldwide. Sanaria's corporate headquarters, administrative, research, development, and manufacturing operations are located in Rockville, Maryland. The company's Web site is http://www.sanaria.com.

Except for historical information, this news release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve known and unknown risk and uncertainties, which may cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the statements made. These forward-looking statements are further qualified by important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. These factors include, without limitation, the Company's ability to raise sufficient funds, the regulatory approval process, dependence on third-parties, clinical trials results, and the ability to commercialize the vaccine.

For further information please contact:

Noemie Tassel

Director, Programs and Communications

Ntassel@medicineinneed.org

+33 1 78 09 49 57


Renuka Babu

Senior Vice President, Business Development

rbabu@medicineinneed.org

617.498.0713



SOURCE Medicine in Need



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