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Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Crowdfunding camapign for mosquito-dissecting robot to automate malaria vaccine production (w/video)
(Nanowerk News) Biotechnology company Sanaria Inc.aims to raise at least $250,000 in 30 days on Indiegogo.com, a crowdfunding website. The campaign launches on May 6, 2014. Funds will be dedicated to the development of SporoBot™, a robot that will dissect mosquito salivary glands. By replacing manual microdissection of mosquito salivary glands, Sporobot will automate a key step in the manufacturing process of Sanaria® PfSPZ Vaccine against malaria.
In a recent phase 1 clinical trial Sanaria PfSPZ Vaccine fully protected against malaria all volunteers who received the highest administered dose. This is the first malaria vaccine ever to show such efficacy. Based on these exciting results reported in Science magazine in 2013 , Sanaria PfSPZ Vaccine is being assessed in clinical trials in the USA (3 sites), Mali, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, and Germany in 2014.
"The individual components of the robot work. Now we must determine how to successfully put them together to create the prototype of SporoBot, a robot to mass-produce the vaccine faster at a lower cost," says Stephen L. Hoffman, MD, CEO and founder of Sanaria. "This will allow us to provide the vaccine sooner and at less expense to the hundreds of millions of people who suffer from malaria each year, are most in need of protection and can least afford health care."
There is no time to lose. More than 600,000 people die from malaria each year. More than 1,000 children die of the disease every day. To integrate SporoBot into the vaccine manufacturing process, Sanaria needs to build a prototype that meets standards of efficiency and consistency, is operational under the guidelines of pharmaceutical manufacturing, is compatible with downstream processing, and is robust enough for continuous manufacturing.
"This campaign is about working together with supporters of large and small means to make progress toward finally ending one of the world's deadliest diseases," stated Hoffman. "Crowdfunding provides an opportunity for everyone to participate in the development of a potentially game-changing technology to help those most in need."
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