New collaboration between Edinburgh researchers and Immunovaccine Inc to study malaria vaccine

An initial study is to be conducted by researchers at the University of Edinburgh and Immunovaccine Inc. to examine vaccine candidate’s effects on malaria parasites linked to most severe form of the disease.

Immunovaccine Inc., a clinical stage vaccine and immunotherapy company, has announced a preclinical collaboration with The University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution (CIIE). The new study will explore if novel targets indentified by reaserchers in CIIE, provide immunogenic responses against parasites that cause life-threatening malaria when formulated in the DepoVax™ delivery system. The collaborators expect to present data later this year.

Marianne Stanford, PhD, Director of Research at Immunovaccine said

Our DepoVax™ platform has a strong track record against a range of deadly infectious diseases, and its sustained delivery system and ability to support multiple antigens make it ideally suited to help address the global health threat posed by malaria as well. 

We are fortunate to work with Professor Alexandra Rowe and her team at CIIE, who have done tremendous work in identifying novel, effective targets across a range of deadly malarial pathogens. With severe malaria being a serious health concern, an effective vaccine that can address the rosetting process has the potential to have a significant positive impact on global malaria mortality rates.” 

The University of Edinburgh team, led by malaria researcher Alex Rowe, Professor of Molecular Medicine, identified the parasitic proteins that play a critical role in binding to human blood cells, resulting in the rosetting process seen in the most virulent form of the disease.

Our lab has worked over the past several years to better understand the processes leading to the severe forms of malaria,” said Prof. Rowe. “Working with Immunovaccine and their DepoVax™ system, we now have an effective way of targeting the antigens related to the most lethal forms of the infection. The goal is to block these processes that are most likely to result in death from this disease.”

Frederic Ors, Chief Executive Officer of Immunovaccine, said

While our development work in immuno-oncology continues, our infectious disease strategy remains to identify opportunities where our DepoVax™ platform can deliver high value to researchers and, ultimately, patients.  This work with The University of Edinburgh in malaria is an important step in our work to deploy DepoVax™ in a timely, precise and advantageous manner in areas of high unmet medical need.”

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