Sanaria takes new approach for malaria vaccine

The New York Times profiles Sanaria, a Maryland vaccines company that is taking a cue from Louis Pasteur in developing a new way to combat malaria. Instead of relying on fragments of the parasite's protein to trigger an immune response--the common approach for vaccine development--Sanaria takes the whole parasite and weakens it with gamma rays so it can't multiply, an advance on Pasteur's method of weakening rabies bacilli by air drying them. This vaccine program is one of dozens being tested around the world. The Malaria Vaccine Initiative, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is bankrolling eight development projects. At Sanaria, researchers have demonstrated their new vaccine can protect lab mice and a small number of humans. But the big challenge they face is manufacturing the vaccine in bulk. The company has already won the endorsement of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

- see the profile on Sanaria from The New York Times