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HOME>>Re&Develop>>Infectious Disease>>Malaria Research Wednesday, January 16 2019

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Military Malaria Research Program (MMRP)

To discover and develop new products to eliminate mortality and reduce morbidity in military personnel and in vulnerable populations for the benefit of global public health


The vision of the Military Malaria Research Program is to lead and support US and international malaria diagnostics, drug and vaccine development efforts by providing knowledge, expertise, training, and products for Force Health Protection and in support of malaria mortality reduction and elimination world-wide

The need for new anti-malarials is due to:

  • Existing drug resistance
  • The new era of malaria elimination will ruin drug effectiveness quickly
  • The goal to end malaria deaths by 2015 requires mosquito avoidance combined with innovative use of drugs/diagnosis/surveillance
  • Malaria eradication will require more chemicals and methods for mosquito avoidance, several more effective drugs, in addition to better diagnostics and ideally highly effective vaccines
  • New prophylaxis drugs are needed for Soldiers as well as elimination efforts

MMRP also operates in two overseas laboratories:

  • Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Science is the overseas laboratory in Bangkok, Thailand. The laboratory specializes in FDA-oriented product evaluation, malaria clinical trials, and critical malaria animal models. The laboratory has been in operation for over fifty years and has strong historical relationships with the Thai military and government.
  • United States Army Medical Research Unit-Kenya is headquartered out of Nairobi and also operates in Kisumu, Kenya. USAMRU-K has a strong relationship with Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). USAMRU-K has trained over 700 malaria microscopists and strengthened external quality assurance. The laboratory also supports four other diagnostic centers in Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, and Indonesia.

Research Priorities:
Innovative Near-term Solutions from the US Department of Defense include:
  • Malaria drugs near FDA approval:
    • IV artesunate
    • Tafenoquine for Plasmodium vivax treatment (WRAIR/GSK/MMV)
  • Low-hanging fruit for malaria prevention with the following drugs:
    • Chloroquine-azithromycin (Pfizer)
    • DHA-piperaquine (Sigma Tau)
    • Tafenoquine for malaria prophylaxis (WRAIR/GSK)
      • Invented at the WRAIR
      • Weekly dosing
      • Important for protecting troops
      • Novel parasite stage killing to help with malaria elimination
  • Evaluating new tools for malaria diagnostics
    • In 2007, the WRAIR and Binax co-developed an FDA-approved ten-minute diagnosis which was moderately sensitive to Plasmodium falciparum and P. viva malaria
    • Surveillance with new technologies aims to help achieve Millennium Development Goals

To read more about our major accomplishments and future objectives, click here  PDF Icon.

Last Modified Date: 09-September-2016

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