Experimental malaria vaccine shows promising results

December 9th, 2008 - 1:56 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Dec 9 (ANI): An experimental malaria vaccine has shown promise in preventing the mosquito-borne disease itself in infants and children.

RTS, S/AS02 malaria vaccine invented, developed and manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals can become, what can be called as the world’’s first malaria vaccine.

In one study, the researchers conducted a double-blind randomised trial of a novel formulation of the malaria candidate vaccine in Tanzania and Kenya.

Among the 835 children, who were vaccinated according to protocol, estimated vaccine efficacy against clinical malaria was 53 per cent.

The researchers also detected a strong immune response, and the vaccine was safe.

Moreover, there were fewer serious adverse events among the RTS,S/AS01E vaccine recipients.

In another study, a team including David Schellenberg, Professor of Malaria & International Health at LSHTM, found that a slightly different formulation of the vaccine candidate, being developed for delivery through the EPI, had a promising safety profile, and did not react adversely with other antigens being administered as part of the immunization programme.

The vaccine also showed a reduction in the incidence of malaria infection by 65pct in infants.

With the promising initials results experts are recommending a malaria vaccine progress to Phase 3 trials.

These two important papers add to the data on RTS,S, making a strong case for moving forward to large-scale vaccination in phase 3 trials. The formulation of RTS,S with the ASO1E adjuvant has improved vaccine efficacy considerably, said Chris Drakeley, Senior Lecturer, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Testing the vaccine in a broad range of epidemiological settings will show if it is suitable for inclusion in routine vaccination programmes throughout sub-Saharan Africa, he added.

The study has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). (ANI)

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