MEDFORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With exciting pre-clinical results showing that its carbohydrate-based vaccine can combat cerebral malaria (CM), which causes inflammation of the brain, Ancora Pharmaceuticals has received another grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to research whether its vaccine candidate will also prevent severe malaria anemia (SMA).
The $530,000 Phase I SBIR grant is the third NIH grant Ancora has received. In 2005, the pharmaceutical company was awarded a $3.3 million grant from NIH to develop their current cerebral malaria vaccine candidate.
Scientific evidence indicates that severe malarial disease results from the downstream effects of a toxin generated by the malaria parasite. This toxin gives rise to the same clinical manifestations observed in both CM and SMA, leading to the possibility that Ancora’s first vaccine candidate could be successfully used for both.
Malaria afflicts up to ten percent of the global population resulting in between two and three million deaths per year. Because of global warming, the World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that 50 percent of the population will be at risk of this disease by 2010.
This latest grant demonstrates NIH’s continued confidence in Ancora’s ability to create cost-effective vaccines utilizing carbohydrate synthesis. The company’s breakthrough method of producing synthetic carbohydrates allows for approaches to bacterial, parasitic, and viral infectious diseases previously unattainable.
Ancora Pharmaceuticals is a private venture-backed biopharmaceutical company based in Medford, Massachusetts focused on developing immune system modulation therapeutics using synthetic carbohydrates. Ancora’s automated carbohydrate synthesizer is internationally recognized as the most advanced in the world. Synthetic carbohydrate therapeutics represents an untapped opportunity within the pharmaceutical industry to develop promising vaccines against some of today’s worst infectious diseases.