New Malaria vaccine to be based on Covid-19 jab

BioNTech, which developed the first coronavirus jab with Pfizer, has said it aims to develop the first mRNA-based vaccine for Malaria prevention.

The German pharmaceutical company said that it will begin a clinical trial by the end of 2022.
BioNTech is evaluating sustainable mRNA vaccine production capacities in Africa; the Company’s efforts are supported by the joint convening powers of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC.)

The company wants to develop a safe and highly effective mRNA vaccine with durable protective immunity to prevent Malaria and disease-associated mortality.

BioNTech will assess multiple vaccine candidates featuring known Malaria targets such as the circumsporozoite protein (CSP), as well as new antigens discovered in the pre-clinical research phase.

The most promising mRNA vaccine candidates will be selected for clinical development.

The Malaria vaccine development program is an extension of BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine efforts. Building on two decades of mRNA research and its clinical stage mRNA platform, BioNTech co-developed the first mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine together with its partner Pfizer.

BioNTech said it aims develop sustainable vaccine production and supply solutions on the African continent. BioNTech is exploring possibilities to set up state-of-the-art mRNA manufacturing facilities, either with partners or on its own.

The facilities are expected to manufacture various mRNA-based vaccines upon approval to ensure sustainable supply operations. BioNTech plans to co-locate its African manufacturing capabilities with the technology transfer hubs under development by the WHO, in alignment with the African manufacturing strategy created by the Africa CDC.

This strategy aims to expand the capacity of low- and middle-income countries to manufacture contemporary vaccines end-to-end, and scale up production to increase global access.

“The response to the pandemic has shown that science and innovation can transform people's lives when all key stakeholders work together towards a common goal. We are committed to bringing our innovations to those who need them most,” said Prof. Dr. Ugur Sahin, chief executive and co-founder of BioNTech. “We are more than grateful to be part of the joint efforts of the Eradicate Malaria project.”

Sahin added: “Together with our partners, we will do whatever it takes to develop a safe and effective mRNA-based Malaria vaccine that will prevent the disease, reduce mortality and ensure a sustainable solution for the African continent and other regions affected by this disease.”

The chief exec said that the company’s efforts would include cutting-edge research and innovation, significant investments in vaccine development, the establishment of manufacturing facilities, and the “transfer of manufacturing expertise to production sites on the African continent and wherever else it is needed.”

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