Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology Receives a Grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for Clinical Product Development of a Malaria Vaccine

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Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology (CMB) and Governor Jack Markell announced the award of $9.85 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for clinical development of a transmission blocking vaccine to combat malaria.

The Gates Foundation awards tend to honor existing excellence and potential. They found both in Fraunhofer.

Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology (CMB) and Governor Jack Markell announced the award of $9.85 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for clinical development of a transmission blocking vaccine to combat malaria.

“This is one of three projects supported by the Foundation, and coupled with the Center’s cGMP pilot production capability will be key for the validation of CMB’s production platform,” said Dr. Vidadi Yusibov, CMB’s Executive Director. “We are looking forward to beginning clinical product development following up on the exciting pre-clinical results we have achieved to date.”

Dr. Philip Russell, on the Board of Trustees of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, commented, “The technology has the potential to provide the capacity and cost effectiveness required to deal with the health and economic problems caused by malaria in developing countries.”

According to The World Health Organization, 41 percent of the world’s population lives in areas where malaria is transmitted, and each year more than one million people die from the disease, most of them young children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Governor Jack Markell thanked both Fraunhofer and the Gates Foundation for their efforts to improve global health.

“We’re very excited that Fraunhofer’s contributions to Delaware’s legacy of innovation may save lives across the world. Their ideas and their efforts are creating the kind of quality jobs we need to move Delaware’s economy forward,” Markell said. “The Gates Foundation awards tend to honor existing excellence and potential. They found both in Fraunhofer.”

About Fraunhofer Center for Molecular Biotechnology Fraunhofer USA CMB, a division of Fraunhofer USA, Inc., is a not-for-profit research organization whose mission is to develop safe and effective vaccines targeting infectious diseases and autoimmune disorders. CMB’s technology provides a safe, rapid and economical alternative for vaccine production. The Center conducts research in the area of plant biotechnology, utilizing new, cutting edge technologies to assist the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of human and animal diseases. The Center houses individuals with expertise and excellence in plant virology, pathology, molecular biology, immunology, vaccinology, protein engineering, and biochemistry. Further information is available at http://www.fraunhofer-cmb.org

Contact: Felicia Pullam felicia.pullam(at)state.de.us; Dale Ervin dale.ervin(at)fraunhofer.org

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