Company Behind Malaria Fighting Robot Launches Crowdfunding Campaign In Hopes Of Saving Countless Lives
US-based biotech company Sanaria has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to develop and implement SporoBot, an invention that would speed up the process of dissecting mosquito salivary glands. The company’s goal is to raise $250,000 in 30 days to help create the first small-scale prototype of the robot that will greatly speed up a process that has proven to be a monumental step in its goal to eradicate malaria.
By eliminating the extremely time-consuming process of dissecting the malaria-carrying insects by hand, the company aims to quickly and more efficiently dispense the Sanaria PfSPZ Vaccine. Early clinical trials of the vaccine have shown promising results in fighting the disease that still puts half the world’s population at risk every year.
“This campaign is about working together with supporters of large and small means to make progress toward finally ending one of the world’s deadliest diseases,” Stephen L. Hoffman, MD, CEO and founder of Sanaria stated in a recent press release.
This will allow us to provide the vaccine sooner and at less expense to the hundreds of millions of people who suffer from malaria each year, are most in need of protection and can least afford health care.”
The biotech company produces the Sanaria’s PfSPZ Vaccine by removing the heads of mosquitos and extracting the salivary glands of living, weakened malaria parasites called sporozoites—which are known to trigger protective immunity without causing malaria. The vaccine’s efficacy to protect against malaria during clinical trials has so far been extremely promising, and the issue of mass producing is now simply time-related. Sanaria states that SporoBot should be able to produce the malaria vaccine at 20 to 30 times the rate that it is being produced right now with their hand-dissection process.
The World Health Organization states that a child dies from malaria every minute, and it’s an issue that not only makes the people living in the poorest countries the most vulnerable, but it’s also an issue that “can trap families and communities in a downward spiral of poverty, disproportionately affecting marginalized and poor people who cannot afford treatment or who have limited access to health care.”
Check out this video for more info on what SporoBot is all about and donate to the Indiegogo Campaign here.