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BioNTech SE  announced the launch of its Malaria project, which aims to develop a well-tolerated and highly effective Malaria vaccine and implement sustainable vaccine supply solutions on the African continent. BioNTech wants to develop a safe and highly effective mRNA vaccine with durable protective immunity to prevent Malaria and disease-associated mortality.

The company will assess multiple vaccine candidates featuring known Malaria targets such as the circumsporozoite protein (CSP), as well as new antigens discovered in the pre-clinical research phase. The most promising mRNA vaccine candidates will be selected for clinical development. The start of the clinical trial for the first vaccine candidate is planned for the end of 2022. The Malaria vaccine development program is an extension of BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine efforts. Building on two decades of mRNA research and its clinical stage mRNA platform, BioNTech has co-developed the first mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine together with its partner Pfizer.

Transfer hubs

The second objective is the development of sustainable vaccine production and supply solutions on the African continent. BioNTech is exploring possibilities to set up state-of-the-art mRNA manufacturing facilities, either with partners or on its own. The facilities are expected to manufacture various mRNA-based vaccines upon approval to ensure sustainable supply operations. BioNTech plans to co-locate its African manufacturing capabilities with the technology transfer hubs under development by the WHO, in alignment with the African manufacturing strategy created by the Africa CDC.

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    This strategy aims to expand the capacity of low- and middle-income countries to manufacture contemporary vaccines end-to-end, and scale up production to increase global access. “The response to the pandemic has shown that science and innovation can transform people’s lives when all key stakeholders work together towards a common goal. We are committed to bringing our innovations to those who need them most,” said Prof. Dr. Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech.

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