Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide $168,7-million to PATH for its Malaria Vaccine Initiative to develop vaccines for malaria – a disease that kills thousands of African children every day.
The PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) is working with GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals to develop a first-generation vaccine candidate, known as RTS,S, which could become the first-ever approved malaria vaccine.
With the new grant, MVI will support the development of next-generation vaccines that could provide even greater and longer-lasting protection.
"I'm very hopeful that the malaria vaccine currently in advanced testing will be proven effective, but that will just be the first step," says Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation. "Now it's time to develop a new generation of vaccines that are even more effective, and could someday help eradicate malaria altogether."
The Gates Foundation grant will support MVI's efforts to expand its vaccine R&D pipeline with projects ranging from early-stage laboratory research to advanced clinical testing.
MVI will work with partners to discover new antigens and adjuvants that could lead to more effective vaccines, and develop new tools to select the most promising candidates for further development.
MVI will also work to foster a more competitive vaccine marketplace and help ensure that future vaccines will be affordable and accessible in developing countries. They will conduct market assessments, demand forecasting, and modeling studies to guide policymakers and vaccine manufacturers, and partner with vaccine makers in developing countries to keep costs low.