The world's scientific and social network for malaria professionals
Subscribe to free Newsletter | 11149 malaria professionals are enjoying the free benefits of MalariaWorld today

The International PfSPZ Consortium meets to review data and map out the clinical development pathway for the Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite-based vaccines

July 2, 2015 - 17:38 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

Candidate vaccines based on injectable Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) sporozoites (SPZ), are being developed and tested. These include PfSPZ Vaccine, in which the PfSPZ are attenuated by irradiation; PfSPZ-CVac, in which fully infectious PfSPZ, PfSPZ Challenge, are attenuated in vivo by an anti-malarial drug, to allow only liver stage parasites to grow, and PfSPZ-GA1, in which the PfSPZ are attenuated by gene deletions.

Thirty-seven research groups in 15 countries, organized as the International PfSPZ Consortium (I-PfSPZ-C), are collaborating to advance this program by providing intellectual, clinical, and financial support. Eleven clinical trials of these products are completed in the USA, Europe and Africa, six are underway and at least 10 more are planned for 2015-2016 in the US (four sites), Germany, the Netherlands, Tanzania, Kenya, Mali, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, and Indonesia. The I-PfSPZ-C has evolved since initial discussions in 2012 to integrate the planning and governance of the commercial (Sanaria) and academic partners collaborating in the efforts to take the PfSPZ vaccines through to licensure.  The I-PfSPZ-C has an inclusive structure in which any individual, group, institution or funding organization involved in studies with Sanaria’s PfSPZ products (Table 1) participates in the data sharing and planning of trials, reviewing data on safety, immunology and protective efficacy and contributing to the efforts to raise funds towards the program. 

Figure 1.  Meeting of the I-PfSPZ-C in the library of the Institüt fur Tropenmedizin at the University of Tübingen 

The I-PfSPZ-C has met at least annually since November 2011 at sessions organized in association with the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, with additional meetings held as needed (e.g. Basel, June 2014).  The most recent meeting was at the University of Tübingen, Germany, in March 2015 (Figure 1).  The meeting truly reflected the tremendous excitement and enthusiasm generated by the impetus of strong results from PfSPZ Vaccine and PfSPZ-CVac clinical trials conducted in the US, Europe and Africa.  The meeting was attended by 81 individuals from 35 different institutions based in the USA and 13 different countries in Europe and Africa.  Participants represented researchers, African governments, policy agencies, regulatory authorities and funding agencies. For the Attendees list and the Agenda of the most recent meeting see attached pdf's.

Table 1. Members of the International PfSPZ Consortium (I-PfSPZ-C). Partners and funding (past and current) organizations are listed by country and are not necessarily matched between the two columns.
Location Collaborative and Funding Partners Funding Organizations
University of Maryland Baltimore, CVD
Centers for Disease Control
Medical Care Development International
Military Infectious Disease Research Program (MIDRP)
US Navy Advanced Medical Development Program, Warfighter Research Program
Marathon Oil Corporation
Noble Energy
Switzerland Swiss TPH [1] Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research & Innovation
R. Geigy Foundation
Germany University of Tübingen [1] German Centre for Infection Research
The Netherlands Radboud University Medical Center (RUMC)
Leiden University Medical Center
Top Institute Pharma
Spain  ISGlobal, Barcelona Ctr. Int. Health Res. (CRESIB), Hospital Clínic - Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona [1][2]  
UK Jenner Institute, Oxford University [1][3] The Wellcome Trust
Tanzania Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) Tanzanian Commission on Science and Technology (COSTECH)
Equatorial Guinea Ministry of Health Government of Equatorial Guinea
Kenya Medical Research Institute
Wellcome Trust Laboratories
Centre for Research in Therapeutic Sciences (CREATES)
Gabon Centre de Récherches Medicales de Lambaréné  
Mozambique Manhica Center  
Ghana Kintampo Health Research Center Ghana Ministry of Health
Mali University of Bamako (MRTC)  
Burkina Faso Centre National de Recherche et de Formation sur le Paludisme (CNRFP)  
Indonesia Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit (EOCRU), Jakarta TBD
[1] Invested institutional and/or investigator’s funds in clinical trials or related studies of PfSPZ-based products.
[2] Invested funds from Spanish governmental grants.
[3] Only involved with PfSPZ Challenge
PDF icon PfSPZ Consortium Final Attendees List230.31 KB
PDF icon Agenda 2015 PfSPZ319.29 KB