Breakthroughs in malaria vaccines
New trial results show more clearly than ever that the opportunity to protect millions of children from malaria is within reach. In 2008, a trial supported by the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) indicated that GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals’ RTS,S—the world’s most clinically advanced malaria vaccine candidate—provides both infants and young children with significant protection, including 53 percent efficacy against clinical disease. A second trial confirmed the vaccine’s compatibility with immunization programs in the region.
With almost one million people, most younger than five years, dying from malaria each year, MVI is working hard to accelerate the most promising vaccines, including RTS,S. In addition to evaluating leading vaccine candidates, MVI weeded out several that no longer seem viable, an essential step for narrowing the pipeline of vaccine candidates.
MVI is also working to ensure that the successful vaccine can be used as soon as it is approved. Thirty countries adopted a framework developed by MVI that will help policymakers make decisions on malaria vaccine use, once approved. And MVI publicly launched its Malaria Vaccine Advocacy Fellowship program to train malaria researchers from several countries as “policy champions” who can advocate for critical support that will bring a successful vaccine directly to the children who need it.
African study centers in seven countries
Infectious Disease Research Institute
International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
La Trobe University
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health
Queensland Institute of Medical Research
Seattle Biomedical Research Institute
US Military Malaria Vaccine Program
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Photo: Richard Lord.