Protein Potential LLC Awarded $3 Million U.S. NIH Phase II Small Business Innovation Research Grant to Develop a Vaccine Targeting Plasmodium vivax, a Neglected Cause of Malaria
ROCKVILLE, Md., April 19 Protein Potential LLC has received support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the NIH in the form of a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant. The three-year award totaling approximately $3 million will support translational research to develop a vaccine for the prevention of malaria caused by the parasite Plasmodium vivax. Approximately 40% of the world's population is at risk from malaria and each year an estimated 1 million people die from the disease. P. vivax is the world's second most serious cause of malaria, with most of the greater than 80 million annual cases in Asia, Oceania, and Latin America. There is growing awareness that a vaccine targeting P. vivax is badly needed if the goal of malaria eradication is to be achieved. Dr. Pedro Alonso, Director of the Barcelona Centre for International Health Research and head of the steering committee for the Malaria Eradication Research Agenda, states, "The need for effective tools to combat P. vivax malaria cannot be emphasized enough. The prospects for realizing the goal of malaria eradication will be substantially improved by a vaccine that prevents P. vivax infections. Protein Potential's efforts to develop such a vaccine are an important step in this direction."
Protein Potential's vaccine consists of parts of the P. vivax circumsporozoite protein (CSP), which covers the parasite surface during the initial stages of infection. Antibodies against CSP can block critical steps in the early infection process. "This Phase II SBIR funding will be used to develop vaccine lots that satisfy manufacturing and quality assurance criteria necessary to proceed to clinical testing in human subjects," says Protein Potential founder and President, Dr. Kim Lee Sim.
Dr. Stephen Hoffman, CEO of Sanaria Inc. and a prominent malaria immunologist who serves as Protein Potential's Chairman notes that, "The malaria research community has fallen behind in testing the potential of recombinant protein vaccines to protect against P. vivax infection. Protein Potential's efforts to develop such a vaccine begin to address this important issue."
About Protein Potential L.L.C.
Protein Potential's R&D program is focused on vaccine development. The company has ongoing projects targeting vaccines for infectious diseases like malaria, and bioterrorism agents including anthrax. Protein Potential's corporate headquarters, administrative, and R&D operations are located in Rockville, Maryland. The company's Web site is http://www.proteinpotential.com/.
Except for historical information, this news release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the statements made. These forward-looking statements are further qualified by important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements.
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SOURCE Protein Potential LLC
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