According to the World Health Organization, every year there are more than 200 million new cases of malaria, with children under 5 the most vulnerable group affected by the disease. Avient is working together with IVCC, a not-for-profit Product Development Partnership (PDP) based in the UK, to step up the global fight to eradicate malaria and tackle insecticide resistance. Avient and IVCC are creating a new masterbatch production laboratory in Guangzhou, China to support research and development of novel, active insecticide ingredients for long-lasting nets.
The pioneering new facility is expected to be fully operational this summer, and open to current and future innovation projects. It will provide a medium-scale platform for testing and developing masterbatch formulations with insecticides to speed up the process of bringing LLINs to the market. Developing these formulations is imperative to eliminating malaria, as insecticide resistance is making the most widely used formulations, such as pyrethroids, increasingly ineffective. The new facility will also support scale up for those formulations that prove promising.
With extensive global expertise in groundbreaking material solutions to support malaria control, Avient has the capabilities to optimize masterbatch formulations for LLINs to deliver ideal insecticide performance. This includes optimum bio-efficiency and controlled migration of the insecticide to the fiber surface — just enough to kill any mosquito on contact.
Established in 2005 through a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant, IVCC works with industry, funding partners and researchers to develop new public health insecticides for use in LLINs, indoor residual spraying (IRS), and other vector control tools. Its mission is to facilitate innovative approaches to preventing vector-borne diseases globally and to tackle insecticide resistance.
Nick Hamon, CEO of IVCC, comments: “Partnering with Avient is an important step in our product portfolio development work. Improving our capabilities to develop and deliver new tools to help address the growing threat of insecticide resistance is critical if we are to achieve our mission of delivering a toolbox of effective interventions to eradicate malaria. We are extremely grateful to all our funding partners who have helped us achieve this important milestone.”
Avient, a leading sustainable solutions provider for synthetic fiber applications, enables enhanced fiber performance and coloration for a more agile and environmentally friendly textile industry.
“Avient’s collaboration with IVCC will enable LLINs manufacturers to transform their visions into groundbreaking products that improve quality of life in a meaningful way,” said Michael Adam, global technology director at Avient. “Working towards a solution that saves lives and improves public health aligns with Avient’s sustainability goals and commitment to our communities, both local and global.”
IVCC is a not-for-profit Product Development Partnership (PDP) working in vector control. It was established in 2005, through a $50 million grant to the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and is a registered charity in the UK. IVCC works with stakeholders to facilitate the development of novel and improved public health insecticides and formulations to combat the rapidly growing problem of insecticide resistance. IVCC brings together partners from industry, the public sector and academia to create new solutions to prevent disease transmission. IVCC is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UKaid, USAID, Unitaid, The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), The Global Fund and Australia Aid.
Avient Corporation (NYSE: AVNT), with 2020 pro forma revenues of $3.8 billion, provides specialized and sustainable material solutions that transform customer challenges into opportunities, bringing new products to life for a better world. Examples include:
• Barrier technologies that preserve the shelf-life and quality of food, beverages, medicine and other perishable goods through high-performance materials that require less plastic
• Light-weighting solutions that replace heavier traditional materials like metal, glass and wood, which can improve fuel efficiency in all modes of transportation
• Breakthrough technologies that minimize wastewater and improve the recyclability of materials and packaging across a spectrum of end uses
Avient employs approximately 8,400 associates and is certified ACC Responsible Care®, a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste and certified Great Place to Work®. For more information, visit www.avient.com.Personal Experiences with Malaria 23rd April 2021
A Little About Me
I was born and raised in Cameroon, which is a malaria endemic country. My experiences growing up led me to want to work in the malaria field, I studied biochemistry planning to build a career in malaria research. However, after studies I instead joined the pharmaceutical industry working on accelerating access to malaria medicines. Today, I am very privileged to be working in vector control, which gives me a holistic understanding of the challenges to malaria eradication and a chance to impact the fight against the disease from a different angle.
My Experiences with Malaria
I grew up in a Sahelian area in the north of Cameroon close to Chad in the 1980’s. The climate there is typically hot, sunny, dry and somewhat windy all year long. Malaria was seasonal and I remember taking chloroquine tablets on a weekly basis as prophylaxis during the high transmission season, typically the raining season. At that time rapid diagnostic tests were not common and every fever would have been treated first as malaria.
After my studies, I moved in the south of the country closer to the equator. Here the climate was completely different, it is an equatorial climate hot and wet all year round. The annual rainfall is high as it rains almost every day and this creates a humid climate, which is an ideal set up for mosquitoes. Indeed, in the south of Cameroon malaria is endemic and the probability of being infected is very high throughout the year. . It was a typical high burden area. Following this move, my relationship with malaria definitely changed after getting malaria for the first time in more than a decade almost immediately.
To make things worse, I neglected the symptoms as they showed up during a business trip in Morocco far from home. Fortunately, I was able to access to a treatment quickly and recovered without any complication. Having a malaria episode out of an endemic country has sometimes been a real challenge for people, many people died because of misdiagnosis and delayed care. Indeed, treating malaria early is the best way to handle the disease when the care is delayed it can lead to serious complications.
After that first malaria experience as an adult, I started being more conscious of vector control. I didn’t want to get sick again and prevention is key to this. I started using insecticide sprayers and I would spray my bedroom everyday before going to sleep. Despite these precautions I experienced in general one malaria episode per year. I started using bed nets routinely when my daughter was born. I was able to buy one in a shop, on the private market. She slept under a bed net every night. Throughout the years, my experience of malaria has evolved, based on where I where I lived (Sahel or equatorial climate), my age and status (mother). Having more information about the options available to me to prevent malaria and protect my family was so important.
What Next in Eradication?
There is a real opportunity to eradicate malaria in maximizing efforts in high burden set ups, communities are fighting the disease on daily basis and just need the appropriate tools and empowerment to defeat it. A lot still needs to be done to teach the about the disease at a very early age, to ensure better awareness of symptoms and good practices to prevent and treat the disease early. Engaging the youth and supporting alternative route to market could be very robust initiatives in tackling the disease. Finally, I definitely became more alert on the disease and proactive when I became a mother. To defeat malaria, we should find a way to partner more with women in communities, they often face the largest burdens of malaria (during their pregnancy and as caregivers) and hold a lot of decision making power. Raising their awareness and collaborating with them in the design and implementation of the new tools in the IVCC pipeline will allow for equitable and quicker adoption of life saving interventions.New Routes to Market 8th April 2021
The introduction of new vector control technologies is critical to supporting insecticide resistance management (IRM) and progressing towards the elimination of malaria. However, these new tools including 3rd generation insecticides for indoor residual spraying (IRS) and dual-active ingredient mosquito nets are more expensive than existing tools and will be difficult to introduce without reducing coverage as malaria budgets have plateaued and are under further pressure due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With this in mind IVCC is working on a range of market shaping interventions to increase affordability and expand coverage, including a “New Routes to Market” initiative. IVCC is working with a handful of High Burden High Impact (HBHI) countries including DRC, Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda to explore the potential of expanding coverage beyond the constraints of current donor funding through public private partnerships based on successful work done with mining companies, mission hospitals and NGOs under the Next Generation IRS project (NgenIRS). Although these new distribution networks will be initially set up to expand IRS coverage, they will ultimately be available for the distribution of other vector control tools based on the specific needs of partner countries.
Although in the early stages, countries have expressed great interest and have begun the process, with IVCC’s support, to identify and engage private sector funding and implementation partners. To this end a private sector roundtable was organised by the Ghanaian National Malaria Program as part of the Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign. The roundtable brought together over 80 private companies to discuss the pressing need for their involvement in the fight against malaria. In Nigeria a similar roundtable hosted by GBCHealth’s Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa and the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) brought together over 155 participants including speakers from government, industry, academia and civil society to deliberate on ways to maximise impact on malaria vector control interventions in Nigeria. Other private sector roundtables will be planned in other partner countries in the coming months with the hope of identifying partners that can expand IRS coverage within the next year.ZERO by 40 and Insecticide Resistance 18th March 2021
The growing threat of insecticide resistance in mosquito vectors of malaria has the potential to undermine the significant gains that have been made in the fight against the disease since the turn of the century. Given the limited range of insecticide classes available for malaria vector control the urgency to complement the current products with different classes of chemistry, as well as novel interventions, is well-recognised. However, for these innovations to have long term impact, the vector control community and ZERO by 40 partners recognise that their use must be carefully managed through integrated vector management (IVM) and insecticide resistance management (IRM) strategies, tailored to local needs and available resources.
Read the full ZERO by 40 Insecticide Resistance Statement on ZEROby40.com >
Tech Update January 2021 10th February 2021
Download the Tech Updates highlighting vector biology and control news, publications and resources.
Given the breadth of vector control related literature, we are unable to include all relevant work. These updates are intended to focus primarily on Anopheles biology and a subset of control topics with global relevance.
Any views expressed in the updates do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of IVCC. In many cases, we directly quote sections of published work. Mention of trade names or commercial products is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by IVCC or its funders.