Pharma Giant seeks EU approval for world’s first vaccine for curbing malaria

By , July 25th, 2014 | Health | 0 Comments

After working on the RTS,S malaria vaccine for nearly 30 years, the pharmaceutical giant Glaxo Smith Kline has submitted the same for regulatory approval to the European Medicine Agency in collaboration with the World Health Organization. The vaccine will be used for children in Africa. GSK hopes to help curtail the widespread disease with their drug though they are not sure whether it will make it to the market.

Head of the company, Sophie Biernaux said:”This is a key moment in GSK’s 30-year journey to develop RTS,S. This brings us a step closer to making available the world’s first vaccine that can help protect children in Africa from malaria.”

The mosquito-borne disease Malaria is responsible for killing nearly half a million people including babies and young children in Africa. Though the vaccine does will not work to completely immunize individuals, it will serve as protection and if people used other measures such as door, window and bed nets, the chances of survival from the parasitic disease could be reduced.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded the RTS,S while the vaccine was developed with support from the Path Malaria Vaccine Initiative. GSK does not plan to make profits on the vaccine and promises to re-invest the proceeds in research. They will add a 5% hike on the actual cost for the research. Trials were carried out in different research centers in Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique and Kenya on 16,000 children.

It was noticed that only 30% fewer deaths were reported during the final stage trail. Other companies are also testing out their vaccines for protecting against malaria. The GSK vaccine will be distributed by 2015 once they get the approval. If nothing else some of the poorest regions on Earth will benefit if the vaccine proves even moderately effective.

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