Phase 1/2a Trial of Plasmodium vivax Malaria Vaccine Candidate VMP001/AS01B in Malaria-Naive Adults: Safety, Immunogenicity, and Efficacy

Jason W. Bennett, Anjali Yadava*, Donna Tosh, Jetsumon Sattabongkot, Jack Komisar, Lisa A. Ware, William F. McCarthy, Jessica J. Cowden, Jason Regules, Michele D. Spring, Kristopher Paolino, Joshua D. Hartzell, James F. Cummings, Thomas L. Richie, Joanne Lumsden, Edwin Kamau, Jittawadee Murphy, Cynthia Lee, Falgunee Parekh, Ashley BirkettJoe Cohen, W. Ripley Ballou, Mark E. Polhemus, Yannick F. Vanloubbeeck, Johan Vekemans, Christian F. Ockenhouse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Background: A vaccine to prevent infection and disease caused by Plasmodium vivax is needed both to reduce the morbidity caused by this parasite and as a key component in efforts to eradicate malaria worldwide. Vivax malaria protein 1 (VMP001), a novel chimeric protein that incorporates the amino- and carboxy- terminal regions of the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) and a truncated repeat region that contains repeat sequences from both the VK210 (type 1) and the VK247 (type 2) parasites, was developed as a vaccine candidate for global use. Methods: We conducted a first-in-human Phase 1 dose escalation vaccine study with controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) of VMP001 formulated in the GSK Adjuvant System AS01B. A total of 30 volunteers divided into 3 groups (10 per group) were given 3 intramuscular injections of 15μg, 30μg, or 60μg respectively of VMP001, all formulated in 500μL of AS01B at each immunization. All vaccinated volunteers participated in a P. vivax CHMI 14 days following the third immunization. Six non-vaccinated subjects served as infectivity controls. Results: The vaccine was shown to be well tolerated and immunogenic. All volunteers generated robust humoral and cellular immune responses to the vaccine antigen. Vaccination did not induce sterile protection; however, a small but significant delay in time to parasitemia was seen in 59% of vaccinated subjects compared to the control group. An association was identified between levels of anti-type 1 repeat antibodies and prepatent period. Significance: This trial was the first to assess the efficacy of a P. vivax CSP vaccine candidate by CHMI. The association of type 1 repeat-specific antibody responses with delay in the prepatency period suggests that augmenting the immune responses to this domain may improve strain-specific vaccine efficacy. The availability of a P. vivax CHMI model will accelerate the process of P. vivax vaccine development, allowing better selection of candidate vaccines for advancement to field trials.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0004423
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 26 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Phase 1/2a Trial of Plasmodium vivax Malaria Vaccine Candidate VMP001/AS01B in Malaria-Naive Adults: Safety, Immunogenicity, and Efficacy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this