New antigens for Malaria vaccine development and drug discovery


Unique antigenic domains of PfEMP1 a key parasite surface molecule implicated in development of severe malaria. Antibodies to these molecules stimulate cross strain immunity to both lab strains and clinical isolates of malaria parasites. These molecules could be effective targets for new therapeutic strategies to treat or prevent severe malaria. This technology is available from the University of Edinburgh for licence and/or research collaboration with a commercial partner able to support development of a treatment for severe malaria. - See more at:…

Severe malaria is linked to a process called rosetting in which malaria parasite-infected red blood cells form aggregates that block blood flow. in vital organs. Researchers have identified regions in 3 key gene variants of a molecule PfEMP1 that is key to forming these rosettes. Antibodies to these PfEMP1 regions show reactivity to diverse laboratory strains and clinical isolates of the malaria parasite. Optimised expression methods to permit production of antigens: In vivo evidence that targets are immunogenic, generate functional antibodies that block rosette formation and induce phagocytosis of infected red blood cells in vitro. Supportive data from clinical sera samples of children who do recover from malaria who have circulating Abs to these PfEMP1 types.

Targets the rosetting mechanism that underpins symptoms of severe malaria, thereby stopping adhesion of infected blood cells to blood vessels in major organs. Antibodies to these target antigens are cross-reactive, and the approach is effective against multiple parasite strains and, therefore, broadly applicable. It targets the most virulent forms of the malaria parasite, protecting and treat infected individuals, blocking progress of the disease.

Research areas
Condition of use


IP information

The international PCT patent application has been published Ref: WO 2013/076492