World’s first malaria vaccine gets go-ahead from EU regulators
LONDON - Reuters
AFP photoThe world’s first malaria vaccine got a green light on July 24 from European drugs regulators who recommended it should be licensed for use in babies in Africa at risk of the mosquito-borne disease.
The shot, called RTS,S or Mosquirix and developed by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline in partnership with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, would be the first licensed human vaccine against a parasitic disease and could help prevent millions of cases of malaria in countries that use it.
Mosquirix, also part-funded by the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation, will also now be assessed by the World Health Organization, which has promised to give its guidance on when and where it should be used before the end of this year.
Malaria killed an estimated 584,000 people in 2013, the vast majority of them in sub-Saharan Africa. More than 80 percent of malaria deaths are in children under the age of five.
Global health experts have long hoped scientists would be able to develop an effective malaria vaccine, and researchers at GSK have been working on RTS,S for 30 years.