2 Nov 2009

The Fifth MIM Pan-African Malaria Conference, held in Nairobi, November 1–6, 2009, brought together more than 1,500 scientists, policymakers, health care workers, community members, and other experts on the disease. As the world rapidly approaches the 2010 targets to deliver effective and affordable malaria protection and treatment to 80 percent of those at risk, the conference highlighted an Africa-wide effort to reach these targets, empower communities, battle complacency, and eliminate the many barriers that are keeping effective prevention and treatment tools from reaching the most vulnerable. The latest research on drugs, insecticides, and vaccines were presented over the six days of the conference.

Visit the MIM virtual press room for the latest news from the conference.

MVI involvement at the MIM Conference

MVI sponsored four symposia at the conference:

  • Product Development Partnerships (PDP) symposium: Ten years of malaria PDPs: Achievements, lessons learned, and challenges for the future
  • Malaria vaccine introduction: Informing country-level decision-making
  • Partnering to strengthen endemic-country capacity through clinical trials
  • The RTS,S/AS malaria vaccine candidate at the pivotal Phase 3 evaluation stage

Product Development Partnerships (PDP) symposium: Ten years of malaria PDPs: Achievements, lessons learned, and challenges for the future
Monday, November 2, 2009
2:30–4:30 p.m.
Location: Lenana Room

Defeating malaria will require new tools to supplement current interventions. The first PDPs in the malaria field that were established in 1999 to address this challenge focused on drugs, vaccines and, later, vector control solutions. Thanks to the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private and public sector donors, these PDPs have achieved remarkable successes in a single decade: new malaria drugs on the market, a vaccine in a Phase 3 trial, and new vector-control options in the pipeline. But staying ahead of malaria requires still more ideas and innovations. This symposium will bring together representatives of three PDPs and their partners to discuss the lessons learned over the last ten years and the scientific challenges that lie ahead.

Sponsors: MVI, Innovative Vector Control Consortium, and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV)

 

Malaria vaccine introduction: Informing country-level decision-making

Wednesday, November 4, 2009
2:30–4:30 p.m.
Location: Taifa Room

This session will look at the work being done to support informed country-level decision-making regarding malaria vaccine introduction. We have learned from experience that if planning for a decision is not started years in advance, a new intervention may remain unused years after availability. With a first malaria vaccine on the horizon, we need to start thinking now about how to prepare for distribution and use, as even a partially efficacious malaria vaccine could protect hundreds of thousands of children from disease and death each year. A malaria vaccine would complement other measures, such as bed nets and effective drug therapies, in the effort to reduce the suffering that malaria causes.

Sponsors: MVI

 

Partnering to strengthen endemic-country capacity through clinical trials

Thursday, November 5, 2009
10:45 a.m.–1:15 p.m.
Location: Shimba Room

PDPs are often criticized as being developed-world initiatives imposing their solutions on developing countries. This critique overlooks the critical role of endemic-country scientists and clinicians in drug and vaccine research and development. For PDPs, success depends heavily on close collaboration with endemic-country partners. A number of initiatives, such as WHO/TDRMalaria Clinical Trials Alliance, the Gates Malaria Partnership, and The Wellcome Trust, are focusing on building local capacity and capability in countries where clinical trials take place. In addition, while preparing for and conducting clinical trials, MVI and MMV have also supported capacity development within malaria-endemic communities and countries. This session will highlight aspects of capacity building, including research expertise and capacity, physical infrastructure, management, and communications.

Sponsors: MVI and MMV

The RTS,S/AS malaria vaccine candidate at the pivotal Phase 3 evaluation stage

Friday, November 6, 2009
10:45 a.m.–1:15 p.m.
Location: Amphitheater

RTS,S/AS is the world's most clinically advanced malaria vaccine candidate and has attracted considerable interest in scientific and public health circles. Today, thanks to an innovative partnership between GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, the inventor of the vaccine, and MVI, and with the collaboration of 11 African trial centers and supporting northern institutions, the vaccine has successfully completed several Phase 2 trials and a large-scale pivotal Phase 3 trial has been initiated. This symposium will provide a summary of the Phase 2 data that supported the initiation of Phase 3, and will describe the design, status, and aims of the Phase 3 efficacy trial. However, more than science is required to successfully establish the benefit of a malaria vaccine that is primarily aimed at infants and young children in sub-Saharan Africa. The symposium will therefore address steps taken to ensure that this Phase 3 efficacy trial meets regulatory and public health expectations. Furthermore, the original approach followed to seek National Regulatory Authority (NRA) approvals in each of the seven countries will be presented. This approach stemmed from WHO Vaccine Department efforts to strengthen African NRA capacity in clinical trials oversight. Lastly, the symposium will give an overview of what else needs to be accomplished in the coming few years to facilitate decision-making once Phase 3 trial data for assessment of public health benefit is available. Considerations of access and implementation planning for malaria vaccines will also be discussed.

Sponsors: MVI and GSK Biologicals