14:46 08 October 2013
Malaria is one of the leading causes of deaths in children from sub-Saharan Africa but the future doesn’t look quite as bleak: After years of research, the world’s first malaria vaccine could be ready by 2015.
British healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is now in the process of getting an approval for their breakthrough medication (entitled RTS,S) following encouraging test results.
The study carried out by GSK found that the vaccine reduced the malaria cases in infants aged six to twelve weeks by 25per cent. It also showed that the most clinically advanced malaria vaccine candidate continued to protect young children from clinical malaria up to 18 months after vaccination.
Sir Andrew Witty, chief executive of GSK, said: “We’re very encouraged by these latest results, which show that RTS,S continued to provide meaningful protection over 18 months to babies and young children across different regions of Africa.
“While we have seen some decline in vaccine efficacy over time, the sheer number of children affected by malaria means that the number of cases of the disease the vaccine can help prevent is impressive.
“These data support our decision to submit a regulatory application for the vaccine candidate which, if successful, would bring us a step closer to having an additional tool to fight this deadly disease. We are grateful to the scientists across Africa and GSK and to our partners who have worked tirelessly for almost 30 years to bring us to this point.”
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