Mymetics Corporation announced that the preclinical study with Mymetics’ virosome based formulations for a malaria transmission-blocking vaccine candidate has been successful. The study showed that the virosome vaccine candidates, at the highest dose tested, generate high antibody titers against the required antigens and they were able to significantly reduce (97-100%) the transmission of the Plasmodium falciparum parasite.
In November 2014, Mymetics’ virosome technology platform and its specialist virosome know-how was selected to develop an innovative malaria transmission-blocking vaccine candidate in partnership with the Laboratory of Malaria Immunology and Vaccinology (LMIV) of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). With funding from the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, several virosome vaccine formulations, each incorporating two different malaria parasite proteins supplied by LMIV, were tested in animal studies and compared to other malaria transmission-blocking vaccine constructs. Mymetics has shown separately in 2011 in a privately funded Phase 1b clinical trial in Tanzania that a virosome based vaccine for Plasmodium falciparum could reduce malaria episodes in children by more than 50%.
The company is currently evaluating opportunities for supporting the next steps of development. According to the World Health Organization, in 2015, 97 countries had ongoing malaria transmission. There were an estimated 214 million new cases of malaria in 2015 and an estimated 438 000 deaths. Transmission-blocking vaccine candidates seek to interrupt the life cycle of the parasite by inducing antibodies that prevent the parasite from maturing in the mosquito after it takes a blood meal from a vaccinated person.