Guest Blog Post: The Malaria Vaccine Project 

by | Jul 18, 2021

By Graham Jones, Past District Governor and Chairman of the Malaria Vaccine Project

This Project involves a partnership between Rotary International District 9640 and the Institute for Glycomics at Griffith University. The project is registered with Rotary Australia Benevolent Society (RABS) and is sponsored by Rotarians Against Malaria (RAM). Since it was launched by the then Governor General of Australia, General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK, CVO, MC in March 2017, the project has raised $1.28 million to support the development of a  promising malaria vaccine PlasProtecT®, created by Professor Michael Good AO. This total includes a matching grant from the Australian Government (Medical Research Future Fund) for $500,000.

Professor Good’s vaccine is a whole parasite vaccine that is chemically attenuated to make it safe and effective against all strains of malaria. He and his team have successfully negotiated Phase 1(a) efficacy trials where the vaccine was encased in a human blood cell. It was the first time that multiple volunteers had been protected from malaria by a whole parasite vaccine. Professor Good is now doing preliminary studies with the lipid form of the vaccine that is able to be freeze-dried and transported anywhere in the world. These preliminary studies include further animal studies and human studies to evaluate safety and the immune response induced by the vaccine. Hopefully they will be able to proceed to Phase 1(b) efficacy studies with the lipid form of the vaccine in an endemic country in 2022-23.