A vaccine developed in collaboration between GlaxoSmithKline and the U.S. Army failed to protect subjects in an early trial against the world's most prevalent malaria parasite. Researchers will press forward, however, saying the knowledge gained may assist future development.
While the European Medicines Agency gave the world's first malaria vaccine a regulatory nod last July, the vaccine isn't perfect, conferring only partial immunity that wanes over time. On Monday, Bill Gates and Chancellor George Osborne, the British finance minister, announced a £3 billion fund ($4.28 billion) to support research and efforts to eradicate malaria.
GlaxoSmithKline's malaria vaccine, Mosquirix, got an EMA green light just last month, but it doesn't mean efforts to develop additional vaccines have halted. PATH's Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) is teaming up with protein manufacturer CMC Biologics to develop monoclonal antibodies that could inform future development of MVI's malaria candidates.
GlaxoSmithKline's malaria jab got the green light from the EMA on Friday and the British pharma is making plans for a gradual rollout of the vaccine.
GlaxoSmithKline's malaria vaccine, RTS,S or Mosquirix, has won a positive opinion from the EMA's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use for use in children aged 6 weeks to 17 months outside the European Union, the agency said in a statement.
Final trial results reported in April showed that the efficacy of GlaxoSmithKline's investigational malaria vaccine wanes over time. But the candidate, dubbed RTS,S or Mosquirix, is the furthest along in the quest for a vaccine and so, may win WHO and EMA approval as the first vaccine against malaria.
The government of Equatorial Guinea has teamed up with Marathon Oil, Noble Energy and AMPCO to sponsor the development of the Sanaria PfSPZ vaccine against malaria. The $48.5 million in funding includes support for clinical trials from 2015 to 2018, Sanaria said in a statement.
Malaria and the mosquitoes that carry it may soon have more to contend with than mosquito nets and insecticides, thanks to the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative and a $156 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The award was announced Sunday by Bill Gates, co-chair of the Foundation, in a speech at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's annual meeting.
Although GlaxoSmithKline has submitted its malaria vaccine to the European Medicines Agency for approval, the jab hasn't shown as much promise as hoped, underscoring the need for a better understanding of the malaria parasite and how it affects the human immune system.
As climate change and international travel threaten to heighten the burden of malaria worldwide, a new study reports that a malaria vaccine may soon be on the horizon.