NIAID opens first human trial using an antibody against malaria

Jan. 27, 2020

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a first-time Phase 1 clinical trial to test an experimental monoclonal antibody (mAb) with humans to help fight malaria infection. The trial is sponsored by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Up to 73 healthy adult volunteers who have not had malaria may be enrolled and injected with the mAb CIS43LS antibody. After several days or weeks, most volunteers will be subjected to bites from mosquitoes carrying the malaria parasite, monitored and tested for malaria infection and treated/cured with anti-malarial medications. 

Malaria can cause serious flu-like illness and become deadly if not treated. “In 2017 an estimated 219 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide and 435,000 people died, mostly children in the African Region. About 1,700 cases of malaria are diagnosed in the United States each year,” reports the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on their website.

The CDC also features malaria prevention and treatment efforts in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia in an online publication of the “President’s Malaria Initiative Strategy 2015-2020.”

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