Sanaria Inc. has been developing vaccines against Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) since 2003. Pf is the deadliest of the five types of parasites causing malaria in humans. It was responsible for 627,000 deaths in 2020, the most deaths since 2012, mostly in children and pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa. Sanaria’s vaccines are composed of the infectious form of the Pf parasite, called the sporozoite (SPZ). The PfSPZ are attenuated by radiation, co-administration of an antimalarial drug, or gene-knockout, so that they can be administered safely to people. The highly purified product has no adjuvant and injections have been safe and well tolerated in multiple trials.
The Mali trial is being performed by the Malaria Research and Training Center (MRTC), University of Bamako, in collaboration with the Laboratory of Malaria Immunology and Vaccinology (LMIV) of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Dr. Issaka Sagara is the lead investigator from MRTC, and Dr. David Cook from LMIV.
The Indonesia trial is being performed as a collaboration between the Indonesian Army, the Eijkman Institute, the University of Indonesia School of Medicine, and the University of Oxford. Dr. Erni Nelwan, from the University of Indonesia, serves as lead investigator. The performing clinical team, led by Dr. Krisin Chand, is from the Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit (EOCRU), which is currently onsite working with Army medical officers to immunize the soldiers prior to deployment.