Malaria vaccine possible within six years

日期:2019-03-02 02:07:03 作者:荣激逵 阅读:

By Shaoni Bhattacharya A malaria vaccine could be available within 6 years if new trials of the most promising candidate prove successful, say experts. Malaria vaccine research received a $107.6 million injection of funds on Monday, part of a $258.3 million donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the study of malaria and its treatment. The cash boost will accelerate the development of an effective vaccine, says Melinda Moree, director of the Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI). “The anticipated date for a vaccine could be as early as 2011. At one point what the world considered to be fairly unattainable is actually coming along quite rapidly,” she told reporters. “It is absolutely possible to make a vaccine against malaria.” MVI will work with GlaxoSmithKline on the most promising vaccine candidate yet, called RTS,S, which, in trial in Mozambique, cut the rate of severe malaria in children aged 1 to 4 by 58%. This was the first time that a malaria vaccine candidate had shown protection against severe disease in children. The new series of planned trials will examine whether the vaccine is safe and effective when given to infants alongside other childhood vaccines. Research will then proceed to a phase III trial to permit licensing. The trials, to be conducted in locations across Africa, will have about 17,000 subjects. Although the candidate vaccine currently offers only partial efficacy, this would still have a major impact on malaria deaths given the millions of children who die each year, points out Moree. The duration of the vaccine’s effect also needs improving, says John-Pierre Garnier, chief executive of GSK. “You don’t want to have to revaccinate the sample of children year after year – you want a long-lasting immune response.” He says they are aiming to achieve this. Malaria takes a “terrible toll” in developing countries, says Bill Gates, killing 2000 African children every day. “If these children were in rich countries, we would have headlines, we would take action, and we would not rest until every child was protected.” He says the three grants his foundation is giving aim to ultimately provide affordable and accessible malaria prevention and treatment to the countries which most need them. The foundation has also given $100 million to the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) to work with public and private partners in developing several promising new drugs to treat malaria. There are currently such drugs in development, says Chris Hentschel, chief executive of MMV, six of which are in clinical trials. He notes this is a “significant improvement from five years ago, when the pipeline was virtually empty”. A further $50.7 million has been granted to the Innovative Vector Control Consortium, led by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK, to fast-track the development of improved insecticide and bed-nets,