Sanaria starts adult trial of malaria vax

Rockville, MD-based Sanaria has launched a Phase I trial of its malaria vaccine candidate in adults. Working with the backing of the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, Sanaria is recruiting 104 volunteers to take the vaccine, which uses a weakened form of the whole parasite taken from irradiated mosquitoes rather than portions of the parasite.

"Initiation of this trial expands the spectrum of malaria vaccines in clinical development today," said Dr. Christian Loucq, Director of MVI. "This trial marks a major achievement in a collaborative development effort that aims to determine whether Sanaria's vaccine candidate is safe and effective."

Sanaria's Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite vaccine candidate is unique to the malaria vaccine field. But live vaccines are used for other diseases including smallpox, polio, and measles. When the attenuated parasite is given to individuals, they are expected to become immune to malaria and not get sick.

"The first clinical trial of Sanaria's candidate malaria vaccine is a watershed event. It is the culmination of a remarkable translational research effort by Sanaria directed at realizing the dream of a practical malaria vaccine preparation based upon whole parasites," states Michael Good, Director of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.

- read the press release