Seattle Malaria Clinical Trials Center (Seattle MCTC)

A Partnership

In October 2015, Center for Infectious Disease Research formed a collaboration with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) to join forces on malaria research by jointly implementing the Seattle Malaria Clinical Trials Center (Seattle MCTC). This joint partnership shares a common goal to help expand the global capacity for evaluating new interventions against the deadly malaria parasite.

 

Fred Hutch campus

Photo by Bo Jungmayer / Fred Hutch News Service

The Seattle Malaria Clinical Trials Center, based at Fred Hutch, is one of only four centers in the world capable of testing malaria vaccines or drug candidates in human clinical trials by the well-established malaria human challenge model.

As a world leader in infectious-disease research, Fred Hutch is uniquely positioned to address malaria by translating four decades of scientific exploration into new prevention and treatment strategies. Hutch has extensive experience in vaccine development and public health studies.  Our researchers lead the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, the world’s largest publicly funded multi-disciplinary international collaboration facilitating the development of vaccines to prevent HIV/AIDS.  In additon, Hutch is home to the country's largest and oldest cancer prevention program.

Through extensive HIV research it is believed that malaria is potentially fueling the spread of HIV in areas of sub-Saharan Africa where there is a substantial overlap between the two diseases; while concurrently HIV may be playing a role in boosting adult malaria-infection rates in some parts of the region.  Conversely, HIV may play a role in the geographic expansion of malaria due to the already-compromised immune system of HIV-infected individuals. 


Located within the Center for Infectious Disease Research, the Human Challenge Center (HCC) is a unique, specialized facility designed to challenge human volunteers with the malaria parasite via infected mosquitos. The primary goals of the HCC are to assess the safety and efficacy of malaria vaccine candidates, including genetically attenuated whole parasite vaccines and malaria prophylaxis.

The HCC has one of only a handful of facilities of its kind in the world where sporozoites are inoculated via mosquito bite to humans under a meticulously regulated process. They have the ability to both manufacture malaria infected mosquitoes and deliver a controlled human malaria infection to healthy individuals in early phase trials. The HCC supports and fosters joint clinical trials for malaria vaccine and drug development by establishing and maintaining key partnerships in the community to diversify capabilities, ensure sustainability and increase capacity. Overall, the HCC and its collaborators have conducted over 60 Controlled Human Malaria Infection challenges in healthy adults, with more than 85 additional infectious mosquito-borne administrations of Plasmodium falciparum to healthy adults under experimental conditions.