Open Orphan launch new malaria human challenge

Open Orphan plc (LON:ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist contract research organisation (CRO) and world leader in vaccine and antiviral testing using human challenge clinical trials announces that further to the announcement on 9 August 2021, hVIVO, a subsidiary of Open Orphan, has inoculated the first cohort of volunteers with a GMP-manufactured malaria challenge agent as part of its first controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) challenge study. This study will assess CHMI using existing standard of care antimalarial drugs against Plasmodium malaria.

The study, which is taking place at hVIVO’s state-of-the-art facilities in London, is expected to complete in Q1 2022 with results in Q2 2022. For the study, hVIVO has leveraged its extensive experience in clinical trial recruitment, via its clinical trial recruitment arm FluCamp, to identify and screen volunteers to rapidly enrol the study cohort. Following the successful completion of the study, hVIVO will be able to sign malaria human challenge study contracts to assess the efficacy of novel antimalarial drugs and vaccines as well as correlates of immunity using a Plasmodium challenge agent.

hVIVO’s Direct Venous Inoculation (“DVI”) clinical trial protocol was reviewed by all necessary UK regulatory bodies and fully approved prior to the start of the study. Expert diagnostic services from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have been contracted to monitor the welfare of subjects and provide essential correlates relating to drug and vaccine efficacy. Additionally, comprehensive training programmes have been completed by staff and senior professional oversight put in place for the review of scientific and safety data.

This malaria challenge model consists of inoculating volunteers with purified, infectious P. falciparum (Pf) sporozoites, harvested from the salivary glands of Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes. This type of malaria challenge model has been safely used in multiple clinical trials in the United States, Europe and Africa.

Conducting malaria modelling with Plasmodiumin antimalarial drug and vaccine trials has several potential advantages over traditional methods of P. falciparum infected mosquito challenge, including superior predictability, a cleaner safety profile and improved control over levels of infection.

Learn more about hVIVO’s Malaria human challenge model here www.hvivo.com/clinical-development-services/hvivo-challenge-models/malaria/ or if you are interested in participating in a Malaria human challenge study or any other human challenge study visit www.flucamp.com 

Adrian Wildfire, Director of Scientific & Business Strategy at hVIVO, said: “Malaria is a disease of significant unmet need around the world, with 241 million cases and 627,000 deaths caused in 2020. Its prevention and cure is a designated World Health Organization target. As such, we are pleased to have commenced this study to allow our clinical teams to better acquaint themselves with the recently established Controlled Human Malaria Infection model, ahead of using human challenge studies to test our clients’ malaria products. Data resulting from such studies translates well into the field and malaria human challenge studies have been pivotal to the development of many of the novel drugs now entering late phase trials.”

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman of Open Orphan, said: “We are delighted to have inoculated the first cohort of volunteers for the Malaria study at our QMB facility in London. hVIVO is fully committed to growing the malaria model’s capabilities and capacity over the coming years to meet the challenge of accelerating the introduction of novel, safe and effective drugs and vaccines to the market.

“This study also ensures that Open Orphan is both strengthening and further diversifying the Company’s world leading portfolio of viral challenge models. We look forward to updating the market in due course.”

Interested in becoming a volunteer?

hVIVO recruits many of its volunteers for its challenge study clinical trials through its dedicated volunteer recruitment website, www.flucamp.com. By volunteering to take part in one of our studies in a safe, controlled, clinical environment under expertly supervised conditions you are playing your part to further medical research and help increase the understanding of respiratory illnesses.

Individuals interested in taking part in COVID-19 human challenge study research can learn more at www.UKCovidChallenge.com.

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