GenVec, a biopharmaceutical company focused on therapeutics and vaccines, has signed an agreement worth approximately $3.5 million with the Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) to support malaria vaccine development.
GenVec is responsible for producing clinical supplies of its malaria vaccine, which utilizes its novel, proprietary technology. NMRC plans to use this clinical material to assess the safety and efficacy of these next-generation vectored vaccines using the clinical challenge model developed by NMRC and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) malaria vaccine programs, which now are unified as the U.S. Military Malaria Vaccine Program.
GenVec's malaria vaccine candidate utilizes a novel, proprietary adenovector delivery system that is capable of generating strong immune responses while avoiding the problems of vector-specific immunity that has hampered other vectored vaccines.
In April 2010, data was presented from a phase I malaria vaccine trial conducted by NMRC and WRAIR using GenVec adenovector technology coupled with DNA plasmid priming. Data indicate this DNA/adenovector malaria vaccine given to malaria-naive adults was safe and well-tolerated with minimal local or systemic reactions and no serious vaccine-related adverse reactions. Sterile protection, a complete absence of parasites in the blood, was seen in four out of 15 volunteers who had been inoculated with the vaccine and subsequently challenged with the malaria parasite.