One of the Gold Coast’s most iconic coffee chains is contributing to world-wide efforts to defeat the malaria parasite with a valuable donation towards research into a novel, world-leading malaria vaccine that is about to be evaluated in clinical trials at Griffith University.
Zarraffa’s Coffee will donate $35,000 to Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics to aid their work with the Malaria Vaccine Project, which aims to raise $500,000 to get clinical trial research to the next stage through a fundraising partnership with Rotary District 9640.
Managing Director and founder of Zarraffa’s Coffee Kenton Campbell said the donation was synonymous with the company’s desire to affect positive change globally.
“We are thrilled to deliver on our promise of ‘more than just a cup of coffee’, to partner with the Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics on such a worthy cause,” Mr Campbell said.
“This deadly disease impacts a number of our coffee growing regions around the world, and Zarraffa’s support of this ground-breaking research ensures we are doing our part in what we consider our global backyard.”
With World Awareness Day celebrated on April 30, Dr Danielle Stanisic from the Institute for Glycomics said the donation is timely and will bolster efforts to further evaluate the vaccine in clinical trials, before researchers can shift their focus to malaria endemic countries.
“This is a world first; we are the first to administer this sort of malaria vaccine to human volunteers and our pre-clinical work has shown that it has the potential to protect against multiple strains and species of the malaria parasite,” Dr Stanisic said.
Director for the Institute for Glycomics Professor Mark von Itzstein said philanthropy was vital to the Institute’s research.
“We thank Zarraffa’s Coffee for their confidence in this project, and for giving us the funding to pursue the project, which has been highly successful“, Professor von Itzstein said.
“This donation will not only support the Australian research community in furthering the country’s global leadership in this area, most importantly, it will contribute to the knowledge base, which in turn, will help improve public health.”
There are approximately 3.2 billion people living in malaria endemic countries worldwide and of the 500,000 sufferers who die each year, 80 per cent are young children who are not strong enough to fight off the killer parasite.