Crucell gains key support for malaria vaccine program

The Dutch biotech Crucell has picked up financial support for its malaria vaccine program through a newly inked collaboration with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative and USAID's Malaria Vaccine Development Program.

Crucell didn't disclose just how much it is getting, but the money will finance work on two technologies that may help defeat the malaria parasite. Crucell's AdVac technology is used to load viral genetic material into a drug delivery vehicle--the adenovirus serotypes Ad35 and Ad26--while the PER.C6 gene tech platform is used to produce vaccine

"This agreement is a strong validation of Crucell's malaria vaccine approach," Crucell's chief scientific officer, Jaap Goudsmit, said in a statement.

"Adenoviruses are one of the most potent vaccine delivery systems tested to date in humans. We are excited about the potential of Crucell's adenovirus-based program and the novel Ad35/Ad26 approach. The prime-boost regimen may be a critical next step in malaria vaccine development and, if successful, could move us toward our goal of having an 80 percent efficacious vaccine in use by 2025," said MVI Director, Dr. Christian Loucq.

- read the press release
- read the report from Reuters

ALSO: Researchers have focused on a number of new technologies to defeat malaria. In one case, scientists used mosquitoes to effectively deliver a vaccine. "Malaria vaccines are moving from the laboratory into the real world," Dr. Carlos Campbell wrote in an editorial accompanying the study in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine. Report