Build A Robot. Fight Malaria. Save Lives!
Wired - The Next Big Thing You Missed: This Mosquito-Dissecting, Malaria-Killing Robot Needs Your Help
New York Times - A Goal to Combat Malaria With the Help of a Robot
Boston Globe - Robot May Help Fight Malaria
Daily Beast - The Robot That Could Kill Malaria
Science - Wanted - A Bug Spit Robot
Tech Republic - How a Crowd Funded Robot Could Finally End Malaria
Global Dispatch - Crowdfunding to Combat Malaria
International Business Times - Robot Combats Malaria with World's First Vaccine
Bioresearch Online - Biotech Form Aims to Automate Malaria Vaccine Production
The Register - Malarial Vaccine Firm Seeks Crowdfunding for Robo-Saliva Surgeon
Bostinno - DC Based IndieGoGo Campaign Calls Upon Harvard Robotics Team to Help Cure Malaria
SANARIA is a biotechnology company located in Rockville, Maryland, USA. Sanaria has developed a malaria vaccine that protects against the Plasmodium falciparum parasite, responsible for more than 98% of malaria associated deaths world-wide.
Until now no vaccine has ever fully protected people against the malaria parasite. Sanaria’s PfSPZ Vaccine now shows real promise in meeting that standard. In August 2013 Sanaria published groundbreaking clinical trial results: In the group that received the highest dose, PfSPZ Vaccine was 100% protective against malaria. See the results published in Science magazine here.
As a result we received extensive press coverage for this groundbreaking achievement. Read the New York Times article on SporoBot™ here.
Currently we do a key step of the vaccine manufacturing process by hand. To reduce the cost of the vaccine and scale up production, we need to automate this key step.
All funds received from the campaign will be directly used to develop and implement SporoBot™. SporoBot™ will automate a key component of the manufacturing process, facilitating inexpensive mass production of the critically needed malaria vaccine.
We've built the parts, we've demonstrated they work, now we need to assemble SporoBot™ into a working prototype. And for this, we need your help.
With SporoBot™, Sanaria’s PfSPZ Vaccine can be made accessible to the millions of people most at risk. Please help protect these people to prevent the more than 200 million cases and more than 600,000 deaths caused by malaria every year.
Sanaria’s PfSPZ Vaccine is made from living, weakened malaria parasites (called sporozoites) that trigger protective immunity without causing disease. The sporozoites are produced in mosquitoes, and become concentrated in the insects' salivary glands. To make the vaccine, Sanaria’s mosquito dissectors remove the heads of mosquitoes and extract their salivary glands. Currently, we do this by hand dissection, but to produce the quantities of vaccine needed to treat hundreds of millions of people as quickly and as inexpensively as possible, we want to automate this process. Our plan is to develop a robot we call SporoBot™ and use it in performing this crucial step in vaccine production. As a result, we will increase manufacturing efficiency and decrease costs. With your help we can and will do both.
We estimate one SporoBot™ will be able to produce vaccine at 20 - 30 times our current efficiency. While we go forward using the current manufacturing process, SporoBot™ will enable greater productivity and will permit a more rapid production and deployment of greater quantities of the vaccine. Greater abundance and faster deployment of the vaccine will push forward the eventual elimination of malaria and the immeasurable improvement in the lives of billions of people now living under the threat of this disease.
Who We Are
In 2003, Dr. Stephen Hoffman and Dr. Kim Lee Sim started Sanaria at the kitchen table of their home. Nearly 50 scientists, researchers, and innovators have joined the Sanaria team. With grant funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we built our clinical manufacturing facility and our insectory in Rockville, Maryland.
Grants and Awards from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institutes of Health, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, and the US Department of Defense and others have supported Sanaria since its founding in 2003. The recent government sequester reduced our access to funds that would have otherwise been available for projects such as SporoBot™. Grants from private and public institutions continue to support our ongoing research and clinical trials at home and overseas in Africa and Europe. But the processes in place to seek multi-million dollar grants to fund new projects, such as SporoBot™, can take years to process, and they are not guaranteed. Just last year, a grant for SporoBot was denied due to the government sequester. We at Sanaria feel a strong sense of urgency, and after years of progress, our goal of elimination is in sight. We could wait until public funding and economic conditions improve, but waiting comes at the cost of thousands of lives.
Every 60 seconds someone dies from malaria, usually an infant or child. Waiting is not an option for us. This is why we invite you to contribute to the creation of SporoBot™. All funds received from the campaign will be dedicated to completing SporoBot™. If everyone gives a little to reach our goal, we are that much closer to saving millions of lives.
Why partner with us?
ELIMINATE MALARIA: In 1977, a vaccine led to the eradication of smallpox from the world. In 1988, two vaccines were deployed to facilitate the elimination of polio, which should be eradicated in the next few years. Today, vaccines have led to near-elimination of other diseases such as tetanus and measles. Let's make malaria next.
ELIMINATE SUFFERING: What movement is more worthwhile or inspiring than taking part in the permanent alleviation of suffering and death from a terrible disease?
IMPACT SCIENCE: Advance science with us as we change the face of medicine, bio-engineering, and public health.
MAKE HISTORY: Help eliminate a disease that has been one of the world’s biggest killers.
Please join us
Support the movement by making your contribution to our campaign and share the story. Your contribution can be any amount you choose, and is not restricted to the specific perk levels we have built. This is a new opportunity to affect real, historic change of unprecedented magnitude.
Most importantly, if we succeed in this campaign and develop SporoBot™, your contribution could impact hundreds of millions of people. You will be recognized as someone who has made a lasting positive change in the world.
Visit our website to learn more about our team and get involved!