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Japanese Fund Moves Quickly to Invest in Promising Technology Against Malaria, Tuberculosis And Chagas Disease
Date:11/7/2013

immune response to the original BK-SE36. The research team will use the new grant to test whether adding CpG, a substance known as an adjuvant, can boost the subjects' response to the vaccine. Researchers agree that a vaccine is desperately needed to check malaria's spread in the developing world, as part of a multipronged approach that includes other tools like bednets, sprays and antimalarial drugs.

The second investment will go to Japan's Ehime University and the biotech company CellFree Sciences, both located in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, in partnership with PATH, based in Seattle, Washington, for work with its Malaria Vaccine Initiative. The Fund will invest US$600,000 to identify novel targets of immunity and accelerate the development of malaria vaccines to support elimination and eradication. The project addresses one of the main challenges in developing malaria vaccines, in that only a tiny percentage of potential targets on the parasite surface have been screened for their vaccine potential. Scientists at Ehime University have developed an innovative wheat germ cell-free protein synthesis technology, which has proven to be highly effective in producing large numbers of high quality Plasmodium proteins. Using this technology, the partnership will produce specific proteins for the purpose of developing monoclonal antibodies that will be evaluated for their ability to block parasites from invading liver cells. This would enable prioritization of antigens for future vaccine development.

The third and largest award, of approximately US$2.6 million, was granted to Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) in partnership with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda) to study a promising new anti-malarial compound, DSM265, to clinical proof-of-concept stage. New compounds are urgently needed to fight malaria, as resistance to current medicines is growing. Artemisinin combination therapies
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SOURCE Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund)
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