Bioject Medical Technologies Inc., a leading developer of needle-free drug delivery systems, announced that the US Naval Medical Research Center began a clinical study of a DNA-based malaria vaccine. The DNA-based malaria vaccine is made by Vical Incorporated, and Vical has licensed
DNA-based malaria vaccines to Aventis Pasteur.
Testing is being conducted by a team of US Navy Malaria Program
investigators led by CAPT Stephen L. Hoffman, M.D. and CAPT Thomas L. Richie,
M.D, PhD. The vaccine, designated MuStDO 5, incorporates five genes that are
designed to trigger an immune response against the malaria parasite.
In the current trial, the Biojector ® 2000 is being used for all
injections of the vaccine. Earlier clinical testing demonstrated safety and
immunogenicity of a single-gene vaccine, and indicated that vaccine delivered
with the Biojector ® 2000 needle free injection system elicited a strong
cellular immune response.
"Successful proof of principle in our earlier trials gave us the
confidence to design the current trial," said CAPT Hoffman, Director of the
Navy Malaria Program. "We were pleased by the immune response of the vaccine
delivered with the Biojector ® 2000 in earlier trials. We plan to continue to
evaluate the Biojector for delivery of DNA malaria vaccines."
"Through our research collaborations, Bioject has been focused on the
delivery of DNA vaccines for some time," said Jim O'Shea, Bioject's chairman,
president and CEO. "By potentially improving the immune response of DNA-based
vaccines, our needle-free technology could add value to the efforts of
researchers developing ways to combat complex diseases such as malaria."