Battle Lines
Sanaria's vaccine is but one of many efforts to defeat malaria. Here are some of the most promising.
By Meredith Sadin

(Business 2.0) - Using irradiated mosquitoes as the basis for a malaria vaccine is certainly a promising approach--but it's hardly the only one. Nearly 60 vaccine programs are currently in the works; most are trying to use the parasite's genetic material as the source for compounds to stimulate the human immune system. Oxford scientist Adrian Hill has created a vaccine using fragments of parasite proteins. The compound has shown promise in small-scale trials, though it is several years from formal tests.

Meanwhile, Hoffman's approach has inspired others to follow similar veins. Stefan Kappe of the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute weakens parasites by deleting a single gene. A vaccine using the modified bugs has conferred close to 100 percent immunity in lab mice.

There is also new hope for treating the disease after it takes hold. Novartis has created a drug called Coartem based on the sweet wormwood plant, an age-old folk remedy used in China that contains an extract, called artemisinin, that kills parasites. A cocktail of Coartem and the typical quinine-based medicines has in some cases proven more effective than quinine-based compounds alone. Novartis sold $6.4 million worth of Coartem over the past year. Wormwood, however, is relatively rare; thus, Novartis and others are looking to synthetic compounds that could produce more powerful ways to attack malaria.

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.