Malaria vaccine candidate enters pivotal trials in Africa

2009 was a landmark year for moving the world’s most promising malaria vaccine candidate, RTS,S, toward widespread use. In May, PATH’s Malaria Vaccine Initiative and GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals launched a phase 3 clinical trial of RTS,S. They had enrolled 6,000 children by year’s end.

PATH worked with many of the sites to upgrade their infrastructure and train staff to equip them to conduct RTS,S trials to the highest standards. The trial ultimately will involve up to 16,000 children at 11 trial sites in seven African countries—making it one of the largest, and arguably one of the most complex, vaccine trials ever undertaken in Africa.

PATH is also working with the World Health Organization and stakeholders from sub-Saharan African countries to develop a framework to expedite decision-making on vaccine adoption. This is just one of many activities aimed at ensuring that the vaccine—if approved for use—will be available to those who need it as rapidly as possible.

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Photo: PATH/David Poland.

A group of parents and babies.

The trial will involve up to 16,000 children at 11 trial sites in seven African countries.