IVCC is to lead a consortium of partners on a ground-breaking project funded by Unitaid and the Global Fund to bring to market new versions of insecticide-treated bed nets to fight malaria-carrying mosquitoes that have become resistant to older insecticides. It is hoped that the nets will provide a stronger line of defence against malaria for millions of people.
The New Nets Project, signed in Geneva yesterday will pilot long-lasting insecticidal bed nets treated with new insecticide combinations in sub-Saharan African countries hardest hit by malaria.
The Global Fund and Unitaid will each contribute US$33 million to the four-year project. The coalition, consisting of PATH, Population Services International (PSI) / Alliance for Malaria Prevention (AMP), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), with support from Imperial College London, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and Tulane University, will run between 2018 and 2022.
The project will build the evidence needed to allow WHO to consider making new policy around the use of these nets and will also assess their cost-effectiveness under pilot conditions.
The production volumes procured for the pilots will help the project to negotiate significant price reductions. These reductions are needed to make the new nets a sustainable choice for countries looking for the best value for money in controlling malaria.
Nick Hamon, CEO of IVCC said; “The continued success and impact on lives saved of the NGenIRS project means that IVCC is well positioned, with its project partners, to demonstrate the public health value of new dual active ingredient bed nets and deliver radically new solutions to combat the growing threat of insecticide resistance which is prevalent across malaria endemic countries.
Unitaid’s Executive Director Lelio Marmora added: “Working with partners such as the Global Fund, we can leverage the effect of our innovations, such as new insecticides and new insecticide-treated nets,” said “Together we can make a powerful impact against malaria.”
Mosquito nets provide a physical barrier against mosquitoes and treating the nets with insecticide makes them lethal for mosquitoes that land on them. One of the most effective means of preventing malaria is sleeping under a long-lasting insecticidal net.
Mosquitoes’ resistance to insecticides threatens to undermine progress against malaria. Although the number of new malaria cases has fallen dramatically over the past 15 years, progress has recently stalled. According to the World Health Organization, there were 216 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2016, 5 million more cases than the year before.
A child dies of malaria every two minutes, although the disease is preventable and curable.
“By investing in insecticide-treated nets and other tools, the Global Fund partnership has greatly reduced the burden of malaria,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “This project is a step toward accelerating impact by embracing innovation – with the ultimate goal of malaria elimination.”
The New Nets Project will support the WHO’s malaria goals, which aim by 2030 to reduce malaria cases and deaths by 90 percent, eliminate the disease in at least 35 countries and prevent a resurgence in countries that are malaria-free.
IVCC is leading another Unitaid-funded initiative, the US$65 million NgenIRS project, which is ushering in new long-lasting indoor residual insecticide sprays to replace less-effective older chemistries and formulations. Unitaid’s work against malaria extends to the Asia Pacific Region, where it is collaborating with the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) on the Vector Control Platform for Asia Pacific (VCAP), a collaborative platform to improve access to new vector control tools.IVCC Secures $18.75M Grant from Australian Government to Help Eradicate Malaria 9th May 2018
The Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) has been awarded a four-year A$18.75m grant by the Australian Government to help eradicate malaria and other deadly mosquito-borne diseases from the Indo-Pacific region.
As part of the Australian Government’s landmark Health Security Initiative which aims to improve the health security of developing countries who bear 99% of the world’s malaria burden, the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security will support IVCC in its development and dissemination of innovative vector control solutions to address the very real health threat of mosquito borne diseases in the Indo-Pacific region.
Nick Hamon, CEO of IVCC said: “IVCC has supported the development of vector control products since its inception in 2005. This has led to the release of game-changing tools to mitigate insecticide resistance build up. Together with the Australian Government and partners we look forward to leveraging and adapting this robust pipeline of innovative vector control solutions to maximise the opportunity to save lives in the Indo-Pacific region and help prevent the spread of vector borne diseases.”
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Let’s start at the end. If we could just keep mosquitoes from transmitting the parasites, we could stop the scourge of malaria. Mathematical modeling by Imperial College indicates that by the year 2040 we could save over 27 million lives in Africa, reduce malaria in children by 93%, prevent the loss of 3.8 billion farmer work days, and increase agricultural productivity by $295 billion. We should all be asking how we could possibly achieve this monumental improvement on the continent that most needs it. The answer could lie in the development and distribution of just three items: a sugar bait that kills mosquitoes, bed nets with combinations of insecticides that overcome resistance, and indoor wall sprays that only need to be applied once per year.
ZERO by 40 is an agreement among leading agricultural chemical companies currently involved in vector control in Africa to apply their skills and resources to the development of those three tools. None of them are pie-in-the-sky wish fulfillment – they can be ready in the next five years:
The sugar bait, called an Attractive Targeted Sugar Bait (ATSB), met and exceeded its expectations in African trials after nearly ten years of patient work by Westham Company. This tool kills mosquitoes in a completely new way, complementing traditional methods to achieve a very high level of control. The work ahead is detailed and sometimes frustrating, but at the end of the day, it is a matter of dotting I’s and crossing T’s.
The first combination nets (long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets, or LLINs) are being distributed this year. Though these nets use the insecticide for which many mosquitoes have resistance, they overcome the resistance by adding one of several additional chemicals. Patient effort during 11 years by the Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) and its industrial partners is also producing completely new candidate insecticides that will only be used in Africa for public health, keeping those new compounds from suffering the fate of insecticide resistance.
Indoor wall sprays (indoor residual spray or IRS and an extra-long-lasting spray or XLLIRS) will also use some of the new chemicals. Through a combination of formulation and chemistry, production of products that last at least 12 months will revolutionize IRS. Smaller, professional spray crews will be able to work their way through a community on a continuous basis, escaping the inefficiency of seasonal programs timed to treat homes before the transmission season.
During the last year, the Gates Foundation, IVCC, Mitsui Chemical Company, Sumitomo Chemical Company, ChemChina/Syngenta, BASF, and Bayer Corporation have worked together from the very top of their organizations to the technical people who make things happen. This collaboration is based on commitment to public-health mosquito control and a willingness to cooperate with each other. Supported by two meetings with Bill Gates, this community is developing a feasible plan to reach an audacious goal – elimination of malaria from Africa by 2040.