July 29, 2009 / 5:49 AM / 11 years ago

Crucell wins funding for malaria vaccine development

* Crucell, Malaria Vaccine Initiative to conduct studies

* Funding provided by U.S-based agency USAID

AMSTERDAM, July 29 (Reuters) - Dutch biotechnology firm Crucell CRCL.AS CRXL.O said on Wednesday it had gained funding to accelerate the development of a malaria vaccine as it entered into a collaboration with two U.S.-based organisations.

Crucell said it has entered into the collaboration with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Malaria Vaccine Development Program (MVDP).

Via funding from the MVDP, both Crucell and MVI will conduct studies to determine the effectiveness of Crucell’s vaccine against the malaria parasite. Crucell did not disclose any financial details.

“This agreement is a strong validation of Crucell’s malaria vaccine approach,” Crucell’s chief scientific officer, Jaap Goudsmit, said in a statement.

Crucell is developing a malaria vaccine based on the company’s AdVac technology, which allows for the insertion of genetic material from the virus into a ‘vehicle’ that delivers a vaccine, and the PER.C6 gene technology which uses human cells as a platform to produce drugs.

The company is already involved in Phase I trials of its malaria vaccine with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States. (Reporting by Aaron Gray-Block; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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