Malaria Vectored Vaccines Consortium
Malaria causes an
enormous public health
Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum
results in the deaths of more than half
problem with over 40%
a million people every year. The majority of deaths occur in children living in
of the world’s population
sub-Saharan Africa. While methods such as the use of anti-malarial drugs, and
at risk of infection. There
insecticide-treated bed-nets exist for malaria control, there are currently no effective
were approximately 220
vaccines available. A vaccine giving strong and lasting protection would provide the
million clinical episodes
most cost-effective and long-term solution for the prevention of this deadly disease.
of Plasmodium falciparum
malaria in 2010, and an
The European Vaccine Initiative (EVI) is coordinating the Malaria Vectored Vaccines
estimated 660,000 deaths
Consortium (MVVC), a four and a half year project set up with the aim of integrating
capacity-building and networking in the design and conduct of phase I and II clinical trials of viral vectored malaria vaccine candidates in East and West African adults,
The increasing prevalence
children, and infants. The overall objective of the project is to develop a safe, non-
of chloroquine and anti-
reactogenic, effective and affordable malaria vaccine for use by the malaria-endemic
folate resistant strains of
have complicated the
MVVC is funded by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials
clinical treatment of
Partnership (EDCTP). The total funding provided by EDCTP is €6,500,000. This
malaria in many countries,
is matched by co-funding from member states (Austrian Federal Ministry of Science
resulting in the requirement
and Research (BM.W_Fa), Irish Aid, Medical Research Council UK (MRC UK) and
for expensive multi-drug
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)) and third-party
therapy. An effective
contributions. The total budget is €9,500,000.
malaria vaccine could have
an important impact on
MVVC currently consists of seven partners: EVI, University of Oxford (UOXF),
this disease and the lives
Okairòs s.r.l, Centre National de Recherche et Formation sur le Paludisme (CNRFP),
of millions of people in the
Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Medical Research Council Gambia
low income countries.
(MRC), and Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD). The Vienna School of Clinical Research (VSCR) was a partner until January 2013.
MVVC tasks are divided into four work packages, each of which is headed by a designated Work Package Leader: Work Package 1: Project Management (EVI, coordinator of MVVC), Work Package 2: Clinical Trials (MRC), Work Package 3: Capacity Building (CNRFP), and Work Package 4: Networking (KEMRI).
The research objective of the MVVC is to demonstrate the safety, efficacy and immunogenicity of a chimpanzee adenoviral vector (ChAd63)/Modified Vaccinia Ankara virus (MVA) prime-boost regime encoding the malaria antigen “multiple epitope thrombospondin-related adhesion protein” (ME TRAP), in adults in East and West Africa and in 5-17 month-old children in Burkina Faso. The project therefore includes three phase Ib clinical trials in adults, children and infants in Kenya and The Gambia and three phase IIb clinical trials in Kenya, Senegal and Burkina Faso.
The other important objective of MVVC is to build research capacity in endemic countries, and improve networking of its partners.
Major Milestones & Achievements
• Annual consortium meetings were held in Kenya (November 2009), Burkina Faso
(January 2011), The Gambia (January 2012), and Senegal (January 2013).
• Baseline studies have been conducted at CNRFP and UCAD; epidemiological
characterisation of the sites is underway.
• All three phase Ib clinical trials in adults, children and infants in Kenya and The
Gambia have been successfully conducted and the vaccine candidate showed good
• The phase IIb clinical trials in Kenya and Senegal have been successfully completed.
• The phase IIb clinical trial in Burkina Faso is on-going and the first interim results
• Manuscript highlighting the results of the baseline studies, the clinical trials and the
funded basic recearch have been published in scientific journals, including PNAS,
PLOS ONE and Journal of Immunology. Several additional publications are in preparation.
Banjul, The Gambia
• Capacity building includes marked infrastructure upgrades at UCAD and CNRFP
as well as the training of three MSc, three PhD students and one Postdoctoral
fellow, plus short-term trainings. Workshops for the PhD students and finance managers and in basic and applying Good Clinical Practice, data management
(until January 2013)
and protocol development have taken place in addition to a training workshop in cell-mediated immunity. A last publication workshop took place in August 2013.
An important objective of MVVC is the promotion of capacity-building through the training of African scientists and development of clinical trials sites, networking, and
the conduct of clinical trials. This has led to the establishment of a well-developed,
stable, and sustainable infrastructure which has enabled the formation of a network of European and African partners working together to efficiently conduct future
clinical trials of new interventions. The existence of such a network is serving to
greatly enhance cooperation between clinical trial sites based at African institutions and expedite the development of a safe and effective malaria vaccine.
MVVC project team meeting with Keur Socé, Senegal community leaders, January 2012
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