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Syngenta Announces Malaria Insecticide Entering Early Development Phase 22nd April 2015

IVCC joined Syngenta Crop Protection AG today in a joint media release announcing that Syngenta are progressing a novel insecticide ‘active ingredient,’ into early development.

The breakthrough is a result of four years of intensive research by Syngenta supported by IVCC and our funding partners, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK Agency for International Development (UKAID), the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

IVCC CEO Nick Hamon emphasised in the media release that this is a significant breakthrough in the battle against malaria that shouldn’t be underestimated. ‘Together with other solutions in the IVCC pipeline, this new insecticide has the potential to substantially reduce the risk of future insecticide resistance and lay a foundation for the eventual eradication of malaria,’ he said.

The announcement by Syngenta heralds the first of several new active ingredients that IVCC partners will enter into full development this year.

It is a timely announcement for World Malaria Day, which takes place on 25th April this year, with its emphasis on sustaining commitment to building on the successes achieved since the turn of the millenium in reducing malaria. In advance of World Malaria Day United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said that malaria control was one of his priorities; ‘Malaria control has proven to be one of the smartest investments in health we can make,’ he said. ‘When we target our funds in proven malaria control interventions, we create healthier communities and more robust economies’. Read the Secretary-General’s full comments here

Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership also emphasised the importance of tackling insecticide resistance.’We have come half the distance with half the funds,’ she said.’To beat growing threats like insecticide and drug resistance, we must re-commit ourselves and raise our ambitions’.


Syngenta is one of the world’s leading companies with more than 28,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to its purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. For more information about Syngenta please go to


New Anti-Malarial Insecticides for Bednets 13th January 2015

Reports in Time magazine today (Jan 13, 2015) about Insecticide Resistance in Mali shouldn’t really come under the heading of news. We’ve known about insecticide resistance in mosquitoes for a long time. In fact, that’s one of the reasons IVCC was set up in 2005—to develop new and effective vector control tools to challenge insecticide resistance.

But what is more serious is the comment in the article that resistance has ‘reached a level at some localities in Africa where it is resulting in the failure of the nets to provide meaningful control’. This is not only inaccurate, it is positively harmful.  Even if insecticides on bednets shows limited efficacy in some cases, the physical barrier of the bednet still provides a meaningful level of protection—over 50% according to WHO.  The article also fails to point out that the impact of growing insecticide resistance is not yet fully understood, nor is it distributed evenly across sub-Saharan Africa.

Long-lasting Insecticidal Treated bednets (LLINs), and Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) have been remarkably successful over the past 15 years in reducing deaths and sickness from malaria across sub-Saharan Africa. In the World Malaria report 2015, the WHO reports that malaria mortality rates have decreased by 54% in the region during this period and that 44% of the population at risk is now sleeping under a LLIN. They estimate that 670 million fewer case and 4.3 million fewer malaria deaths occurred between 2001 and 2013 than would have occurred if incidence and mortality rates had remained unchanged.

Undoubtedly, some of this is due to better drug therapies and more effective diagnostics and health systems and that is also good news. But a large portion of it is also down to effective protection of the people at risk, especially the most vulnerable groups of pregnant women and young children. There is substantial evidence that LLINs and IRS have been remarkably efficient. The massive distribution of bednets has been a major lifesaver.

Ironically, the success of bednets and IRS one of the reasons why resistance has been developing. It’s a natural response from an insect population under stress. (See our video ‘The Tipping Point’) And it’s why we’re developing new anti-malarial insecticides that are safe for people and the environment that could bring to an end this never ceasing circle of solution-resistance-solution. (See our video ‘Why 3 new Ais’)

Working with the world’s leading agro-chemical companies, and top scientific experts in entomology and chemistry, we have already isolated 9 new chemical classes of anti-malarial insecticide with completely new (and different from each other)  modes of action. This year we will select 3 of these to go into full development. If funding is adequate and the extensive regulatory processes are passed, these new insecticides will be in operation in the field by 2022.

In the meantime we have developed new formulations of existing insecticides for IRS, and have some novel approaches to bednets that are currently undergoing evaluation.

Time reports scientists are urging ‘the development of new and effective malaria vector control strategies’. Right, we’re on the case and the finishing line is in sight.

Developing Local Vector Control Expertise & Talent in Africa 2nd February 2015

I was inspired today by learning about the indirect and somewhat hidden value creation of IVCC capacity building amongst African scientists working in vector control.

I spent the day with the Pan-African Malaria Vector Research Consortium (PAMVERC) team based here at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College in Moshi, Tanzania. IVCC works closely with Professor Mark Roland (LSTMH), Professor Frank Mosha (Director of Research at KCMCo), Dr. Matt Kirby (Program Manager) and the local Moshi scientists to test novel malaria insecticide interventions in the laboratory and field. We are also working, with the support of Alex Wright, to create a unique GLP-like accreditation process to strengthen and improve the efficiency and robustness of field evaluation.

This close IVCC/PAMVERC partnership has indirectly, but very effectively, helped train a new generation of MS and PhD students in entomology and vector biology who can take a lead in the eradication of malaria and other neglected tropical diseases. Over the past few years, some twelve MS students as well as a number of PhD students have worked on IVCC trials for their theses. To name just two, Dr Jovin Kitau, a medical entomologist and Dr Johnson Matowo, a molecular biologist specialising on insecticide resistance.

This often unrecognised approach to capacity building means that innovation funders get a significant return on their investments. It’s a double return, too—in the short term, outstanding trials data that lead to better prevention of malaria transmission, and in the longer term, building a foundation of local expertise and talent. This foundation of experts in malaria and vector control is essential to our hopes of eventually eradicating malaria from Africa.

I wonder if we can do more formally to promote the training and development of local scientists?

Eradicating Malaria Makes Good Business Sense 16th October 2014

Keeping people healthy and creating prosperous communities is not only ethically sound, but also makes good business sense, said Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Chairman of the IVCC Board of Trustees, addressing nearly 500 company leaders and executives at the Third Global Forum for Business as an Agent of World Benefit.

Parliament Urges Continued Commitment to Fight Malaria 13th October 2014

The UK has played a significant role globally in the fight against malaria, according to a new report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and Neglected tropical Diseases (APPMG).

Launching the report in the House of Commons, Former Secretary of State for International Development, the Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, praised the UK for helping drive the remarkable progress in preventing malaria, which has halved child deaths from the disease since 2000. He went on, however, to stress the importance of maintaining support, investment and innovation in the struggle against malaria, noting that resurgence is a very real threat.

According to the report, ‘the recent dramatic improvements in malaria control give no cause for complacency: history has repeatedly shown that when efforts and funds to control malaria are relaxed, it comes roaring back. Reducing malaria control efforts at this point risks failing to capitalise on the strategic advantage we are developing – jeopardising millions of lives and billions of dollars’.

The report suggests that the  next five years will be particularly critical in malaria prevention as innovative approaches to developing new insecticides, drugs and vaccines show healthy pipelines of potential new products. ‘We are now at a tipping point in the fight against this disease: sustained investment will drive down the number of malaria cases and deaths still further’.

Insecticide resistance is highlighted as a growing threat especially as  ‘the corner stone of prevention is vector control’.

The economic return on malaria investment is also highlighted in the report, which suggests a net economic return on malaria investment of over $200 billion by 2035. ‘Healthier communities will be more economically productive, and educational outcomes will be enhanced.’

Download the full report by following the link on this page.


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