Study shows GSK vaccine protected children from malaria

A GSK vaccine helped protect children and infants from clinical malaria for at least three years, according to the results of a Phase III trial published in the journal Lancet last week.

Final results of the study indicate the RTS,S vaccine could be especially valuable in areas of sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria is endemic. The study, however, showed the vaccine was effective against severe malaria only in children who received a booster dose and that those who didn’t receive the booster were at greater risk for severe malaria.

Kwaku Poku Asante, principal trial investigator and chairperson of the RTS,S Clinical Trials Partnership, said the vaccine might dramatically reduce the incidence of malaria in young children.

“The large number of children affected by malaria, sometimes several times per year, means that this vaccine candidate, if deployed correctly, has the potential to prevent millions of cases of malaria,” Asante said.

GSK is likely to seek regulatory approval for the vaccine in sub-Saharan Africa if it receives a positive opinion on the product from both the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Health and the World Health Organization. The company said it would make the vaccine available at a not-for-profit price.

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