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PATH receives new five-year contract from USAID for malaria vaccine research and development

July 7, 2020 by PATH

Media contact: Lindsay Bosslet | PATH | media@path.org

Seattle, WA, July 7, 2020 – PATH is proud to announce a new five-year, $27 million partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop a next-generation malaria vaccine. The project will focus on identifying and advancing vaccines with greatest potential to benefit those at highest risk of disease and death from malaria. Despite impressive declines in malaria deaths and cases over the past two decades, progress has stalled, and malaria continues to kill over 400,000 people each year; young African children remain most vulnerable. New tools are urgently needed to reduce disease and death attributable to malaria, and to accelerate elimination and eventual eradication.

“We are excited to partner with USAID to develop an effective malaria vaccine and continue the momentum of PATH’s previous malaria vaccine research,” said Rick King, the Program Manager for the USAID grant. PATH has more than two decades of experience in malaria vaccine development ranging from preclinical research to the implementation of the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine in parts of three sub-Saharan African countries in 2019.

“PATH has robust malaria and vaccine development portfolios. We envision that any malaria vaccine would be used in conjunction with other malaria control efforts, which aligns with our ongoing work on complimentary tools like diagnostics, drugs, and bed nets,” said Ashley Birkett, leader of PATH malaria vaccines in PATH’s Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access.

USAID’s mission is to partner to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing our security and prosperity, and provides economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide. The USAID Malaria Vaccine Development Program is housed in the Malaria Division of the Office of Infectious Diseases of USAID's Bureau for Global Health. Initiated in 1965 in response to the end of the first malaria eradication era, the MVDP has worked with a variety of partners to contribute early research on the circumsporozoite protein, as well as more recent efforts in advancing blood-stage and liver-stage vaccine approaches. Its mission is to develop and introduce malaria vaccines to protect vulnerable populations in the developing world.

Malaria is a complex disease that sickens more than 200 million people every year. PATH is working hard to develop innovative approaches to reduce morbidity and mortality. A highly effective malaria vaccine would be a powerful tool against the disease. The five-year project, overseen by USAID and conducted in partnership with the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, Johns Hopkins University, University of Texas, and Scripps, will begin in June 2020.

This impactful collaboration with USAID could develop a potentially life-saving tool in the fight against malaria, and PATH looks forward to advancing this initiative.

About PATH

PATH is a global organization that works to accelerate health equity by bringing together public institutions, businesses, social enterprises, and investors to solve the world’s most pressing health challenges. Our team of innovators comprises more than 1,500 employees in offices in 20 countries. With expertise in science, health, economics, technology, advocacy, and dozens of other specialties, PATH develops and scales solutions—including vaccines, drugs, devices, diagnostics, and innovative approaches to strengthening health systems worldwide. We work in more than 70 countries to transform bold ideas into sustainable solutions that improve health and wellbeing for all, reaching over 150 million people, on average, each year.