NANORO, Burkina Faso — The Phase 3 trial of GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals' RTS,S, a malaria vaccine candidate, is on track.
The Oct. 6 initiation of vaccinations at Nanoro, a town in the center of Burkina Faso, means that 10 of the 11 sites in seven African countries are engaged in the trial that aims to further research the efficacy and safety of the vaccine. The trial will ultimately enroll up to 16,000 children ages 6 weeks to 17 months.
The Nanoro site, under the auspices of the Institut de Recherche en Science de la Santé/Centre Muraz, plans to enroll 1,200 children for the trial, according to its principal investigator, Tinto Halidou. Support from MVI, the Malaria Clinical Trials Alliance, and the government of Burkina Faso enabled the local team to build up the Nanoro facility and its partner hospital, San Camillo District Hospital, in a remote and resource-poor region where the malaria burden is high.
Burkina Faso's National Program for Malaria Prevention recorded more than 5 million cases of malaria in 2007 and nearly 12,000 deaths, most of them children.