You might have questions about our project or the Indiegogo campaign. We have listed some of the most frequent ones for you. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us directly.
- Why are you raising funds through Indiegogo?
- We are at an early stage of our pre-clinical studies. Well-known funding agencies have very strict criteria, including evidence for efficacy. With this proof-of-concept study, we can collect the necessary data to write a funding application for the large sums needed for drug development.
- What happens if you raise more than your funding goal?
- Then we are in the lucky situation to be able to expand our research project. Details will be posted on the Indiegogo Malaria MISSION website once the funding goal is about to be reached.
- What happens if you raise less than your funding goal?
- Then we will bring forward our current experiments as far as possible (without going bankrupt ourselves) and use the evidence collected to write applications to several funding agencies.
Mission Implant FAQ
- Mission seems to be an acronym, is it?
- Yes. MISSION stands for Modified, Slow-release, Silicone Implant for Outdoor-biting and Non-conventional malaria vectors.
- What are you going to do with the money you raise?
- We aim at completing a whole year of studies, which will cover an extensive toxicological investigation to pave the way for future human use of our current prototype.
- Are there any results now?
- Yes. Our initial laboratory tests have been very promising. We have been able to achieve our target concentration for the first few weeks so far. Now we need your help to continue our proof-of-concept study.
- What direct benefit do people get from the implant?
- Ivermectin has rightly been called a wonder drug. Apart from protecting other household members from mosquito bites and potential malaria transmission, a person carrying our implant will be protected from several parasitic worm infections. It also kills most ectoparasites, such as head lice and scabies.
- I really hate mosquitoes. Is there a chance I could get an implant to kill mosquitoes in my region?
- In the first place, this project aims at contributing to reducing malaria. If we can show that the implant is safe and effective, it would proceed to clinical testing and probably be marketed in malaria-endemic regions first. Its use in non-malarious areas, however, cannot be excluded at this stage.
- What effect will killing large numbers of mosquitoes have on the tropical ecosystem?
- Most ecosystems seem to depend relatively little on mosquitoes with the exception of the Arctic where mosquitoes present unequalled biomass. Most mosquito predators only supplement their diet with mosquitoes because they are a poor protein source.
There are thousands of mosquito species and only a few transmit diseases. Small reductions in their populations could have a significant impact on human health.
For a more detailed answer, here is a very interesting Nature News article on this topic.
- In how many years do you expect we could eradicate malaria?
- Scientific progress is hard to predict, as is the potential for adaptation of mosquitoes and parasites to our currently most potent weapons. Our implant is not a "magic bullet" but it can be a valuable addition in the fight against malaria.
- Are you using human subjects for this study?
- Not at this stage. According to internationally accepted Good Clinical Practice standards and the International Conference on Harmonisation guidelines, any pharmaceutical to be used in humans needs to be proven of high quality, effective and safe before human experiments can be done.
- How do you rule out resistance to ivermectin?
- We are aware that a certain risk cannot be ruled out, given the adaptability of mosquitoes to insecticides. As the mosquitoes die very quickly from the drug and lower doses of ivermectin have been shown to limit mosquito motility and fertility, we believe that the threat of resistance is not an immediate one.
- Will the stick be given to the entire population in malaria-endemic regions?
- The potential use of the implant depends very much on the exposure of populations to malaria. In Southeast Asia, for example, it is mainly men working in or around forested areas who are at risk of catching malaria and introducing it to their communities upon return.