World Health Organization

Initiative for Vaccines Research, Dr. Vasee Moorthy

Research and science management with the establishments of partnerships for supporting the transition of vaccine candidates from early development to licensing and introduction, for the target populations carrying the highest burden of disease, drives the work of IVR. As routine, IVR

  • reviews and monitor the malaria vaccine development field and maintains an updated global portfolio of malaria vaccines in preclinical and clinical trials.  
  • Conducts knowledge and information analysis to identify gaps in the evidence required to inform vaccine development decision-making
  • Monitors progress of active collaborators network  
  • Participates in harmonization of pre-clinical and clinical evaluation/international requirements as well as regulatory requirements.
  • Organize conference, meetings and workshops for a variety of purposes like, consensus building or seeking around difficult scientific questions, sharing and dissemination of new research knowledge, or capacity building training in research skills

IVR also remains committed to advancing the priorities of the Malaria Vaccine Roadmap, in particular the activities that will result in improvement in the ability to assess, evaluate and compare the performance of vaccine candidates such as towards ‘standardizing procedures to compare immune responses and clinical trials results by vaccine candidates’ as well as ‘developing criteria for rational selection of candidate vaccines’. The roadmap was launched at the WHO Global Vaccine Research Forum in Bangkok on 4 December 2006 (WHO Press Note, 4 December 2006) and is available on the web at It provides guidance for a global research agenda and coordination strategy for developing a malaria vaccine by 2025 that would have a protective efficacy of more than 80 percent against clinical disease and provide protection for longer than four years.

Current major funders of malaria vaccine development such as PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, together with representatives of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), the European Malaria Vaccine Initiative (EMVI/SSI), the European Commission (Directorate General for Research), the United States National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have reiterated their commitment to stepping up their own levels of coordination and collaboration on the roadmap priority issues. Other new donors such as the Fondazione Monte dei Paschi di Siena ar answering the call to action to contribute to the effort.

IVR also brings added value through its close collaboration with other WHO teams involved in regulatory and ethics activities, standardization work, routine immunization, disease control, surveillance and epidemiology and gives IVR access to vital information which could impact global research agendas at an early stage.

All this implies a well-developed structure and capacity to participate in the activities of this Coordination action, in a transparent and independent way.

The Roadmap manager of IVR, based at IVR, WHO, Geneva, will assist the WHO IVR malaria focal point, in the global coordination of OPTIMALVAC. He will provide management assistance to IVR to fulfil the objectives of the Malaria Vaccine Technology Roadmap:

  • Work with Malaria Vaccine Funders group to design and implement systems for tracking activities within the global malaria vaccine field.  
  • Work with Malaria Vaccine Funders group to promote synergies.
  • Summarise complex workplans that involve multiple organisations performing interdependent tasks.
  • Thereby identify gaps and redundancies/overlaps in global activities  
  • Maintain, monitor and enhance productive lines of communication between malaria vaccine stakeholder organizations.  
  • Explore approaches to strengthening global coordination and collaboration.  
  • Take formal minutes of Malaria Vaccine Funders Group meetings and annual MALVAC committee meeting. Track meeting action items and facilitate progress by interacting with parties between meetings.  
  • Maintain documentation of partner interactions and ensure delivery of progress reports as actioned during Funders Group meetings and other meetings.  
  • Organize relevant malaria vaccine development meetings and prepare technical reports.  
  • Participate as a supporting team member for other IVR malaria activities as requested.  
  • Represent IVR as requested to academic, government, industry and donor organizations.  
  • Implement programs and policies as an active member of the IVR team.