MIMVaC-Africa 2nd annual meeting : on face-to-face in Tübingen

MIMVaC-Africa consortium held its 2nd annual meeting on January 17th – 18th, 2023. Thanks to the recent decrease in COVID-19 restrictions, this meeting was possible on a face-to-face basis, for the first time ever since the start of the project in February 2020.

Hosted by the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (EKUT) at the Institut für Tropenmedizin, Reisemedizin und Humanparasitologie, in Tübingen in Germany, this important face-to-face annual meeting brought together more than 35 delegates including sites’ key staff members, members of the Project Steering Committee, and the External Independent Scientific Advisory Group as well as the Project manager at the EDCTP Secretariat. For two days, participants discussed the progress made in the project implementation, the timelines, the challenges, and the opportunities in the way forward.

On the first day, after the welcome addresses given by the host institution representative, Prof. Peter G. Kremsner, followed by the consortium coordinator, Dr Sodiomon B. Sirima, the agenda was amended and approved. A round table introduction was then undertaken before proceeding with the report of work packages 1, 2, 3 and 6. Also on this first day, slot of time was given to the vaccine inventors to present their product and to the project manager at EDCTP Secretariat.

On the second day, work packages 4, 5, and 7 reported before a general discussion took place. A PSC close meeting was held followed by an EKUT guided lab tour which was the activity of the agenda.

In short, the consortium has made great progresses toward the achievement of its objectives. For instance, the baseline sero-epidemiology study is initiated at all sites, the CHMI trials preparation are almost completed and enrollment will start in early 2023, and the discussions around the Phase 2b field trial are well advanced. The upcoming year is critical, but the consortium remains confident that this challenge is achievable.

As a reminder, MIMVaC-Africa (A multilateral initiative to foster the clinical development of effective malaria vaccine candidates in Africa) is an EDCTP-funded consortium gathering leading vaccine researchers, companies and clinical trialists with the aim of accelerating the development of highly effective malaria vaccines that meet the goals set by the WHO Malaria Vaccine Technology Roadmap. The consortium spans 3 continents (Asia, Europe, and Africa) and is coordinated by the Groupe de Recherche Action en Santé, in Burkina Faso.