The world’s oldest and most expensive malaria vaccine has come a step closer to being ready for human use after it was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year.
Tourmaline is made by combining a chemical compound called tourmalon, an extract from the malaria plant, with the malaria toxin beta-lactam.
It is used by about 70% of the world’s malaria patients, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and is also used by some countries to fight dengue and chikungunya.
Its first clinical trials in people will be conducted in the US by the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), according to a UCSF statement.
The first clinical trial of a non-human primate model of malaria will be performed at the University, and will involve testing for two different types of malaria, according the UCSF announcement.
A third clinical trial will be funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the US agency that conducts drug trials, and was scheduled to start this month.
Both trials are scheduled to take place in San Diego, California, and Portland, Oregon.
In its first phase of trials, researchers will test how the combination of the vaccine and beta-latam works in people with both types of dengues.
“The test will be administered to humans at the UCSD-sponsored trial site and to participants at the UBC-sponsored clinical trial site in British Columbia,” the UCSE statement said.
After the trials, the vaccine will be used to treat two different strains of malaria: one that is resistant to beta-Lactam, and one that can be treated with other compounds.
As with other malaria vaccines, the study will be aimed at helping develop new treatments and better diagnostics for patients.
Since 2009, the US government has spent $7.5 billion to develop the first-ever malaria vaccine, the Phase III National Institute on Dengue Vaccines and Immunization (NIDDK), which was designed to fight the deadly disease.
Treatment trials are now under way in nine countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, and Thailand.
At the end of 2016, the FDA approved the first clinical phase of the NIDDK’s Phase III trial of beta-delta-lasvidil, a combination of tourmalin and betaLactams, which was approved in the Netherlands in 2017.
Meanwhile, in 2017, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) approved a study of a single strain of malaria that is not resistant to either beta-lamin or beta-la-dura-las, but is still highly resistant to alpha-lac-dactinid, an inhibitor of alpha-1,3-dihydroxy-2-phenyl-propan-2,4-diol-glucuronide, a molecule that is responsible for inhibiting beta-amyloid beta production in the brains of patients with the disease.
In total, the NIAID is spending $9.6 billion to research the malaria vaccine and a further $1.4 billion to support clinical trials.