A prototype anti-toxic vaccine against malaria is identified.

Following the 1993 discovery of a malaria toxin, known as GPI, Professor Louis Schofield and his team seek to develop a vaccine against this toxin.

Professor Schofield co-founds a US-based company Ancora Inc., to create a synthetic, non-toxic form of GPI, which he uses to develop a vaccine. Initial tests confirm the vaccine is successful in preventing malarial disease in pre-clinical models after they have been infected with the parasite.

Schofield says if the promising test results seen in the pre-clinical models can be transferred to humans the health and living standards of hundreds of millions of people could be improved.

“Excitingly, GPI is conserved across all malaria species, which means the vaccine may work for all species of malaria,” he says.

Schofield L, Hewitt MC, Evans K, Siomos M, Seeberger, PH. Synthetic GPI as a candidate anti-toxic vaccine in a model of malaria. Nature 418, 785-789 (15 August 2002).