Malaria jab shows promise22nd October 2007
Recent clinical trials have showed a new vaccine against malaria to be safe and effective in African infants.
Global health campaigners and researchers have welcomed the early results of the trial, which followed an earlier trial on babies, and involved 214 infants in Mozambique.
Malaria is one of the biggest killer diseases of the developing world, claiming around a million children in Africa annually.
Transmitted by the female Anopheles mosquito, the disease is prevalent in more than 90 countries.
The prototype vaccine has been two decades in development now, and this latest set of results is still early. It is hoped the vaccine will eventually be licensed for use in 2011.
The results of the Mozambique trial showed that infants receiving the new vaccine were 65% less likely to have contracted the disease three months later than a control group. The vaccine also appeared to be safe, with no adverse effects reported.
The vaccine, developed by several African countries, big pharma and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI), was welcomed, with scientists saying they will now be able to progress to a Phase three trial.
This would take place beginning next year, trialling among 10,000 children in 10 sites across sub-Saharan Africa.
Joe Cohen, of GlaxoSmithKline, which is one of the developers, said the vaccine would be the first to be released which targetted a parasitic infection as opposed to a bacterium or a virus.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who has donated millions of dollars to malaria vaccine and treatment programmes, called, during a meeting of 300 scientists and policymakers, for global leaders to stamp out the disease.
Gates vowed to continue his involvement with efforts to eradicate malaria.
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Title: Malaria jab shows promise
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 4462
Date Added: 22nd Oct 2007