Under a two-year Collaborative Research, Development and Supply Agreement, MVI will provide GenVec up to $2.5 million for the production and evaluation of adenovirus vectors containing genes for up to five malaria antigens. GenVec's proprietary technology uses a replication deficient adenovector to deliver the genes to cause the production of beneficial antigens. Under a separate Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between GenVec and NMRC, NMRC scientists will provide GenVec with optimized malaria genes to be used in the adenovector vaccines. NMRC will then compare the effects of these vaccines alone and in combination in animal models.
Many malaria experts believe that a vaccine containing more than one malaria antigen will be necessary to adequately impact disease. The vaccines will contain the genes for up to five antigens (CSP, SSP2, LSA1, MSP1, and AMA1) from different stages of the parasite's life cycle--antigens thought to be important in preventing or limiting the severity of malaria. GenVec's technology will enable several malaria genes to be delivered in a single vaccine.
"MVI is delighted to be working with GenVec and NMRC on such vital development work," said Dr. Melinda Moree, Director of MVI. "We hope to learn more about which antigens to drive forward and which to halt--a key contribution that MVI can make to move the field ahead. This selection process should give scientists worldwide a better idea about the
Contact: Ellen Wilson