The world’s first malaria vaccine may just be a year away, after a thorough trial of a new drug showed promising results.
PLOS Medicine on Tuesday published a study, in which researchers found that for every 1,000 children who received the vaccine, 800 cases of illness could be prevented. The children also retained protection 18 months after being injected.
Now, pharmaceutical manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has applied the drug for regulatory approval — the first time a malaria vaccine has reached this stage.
“This is a milestone,” professor Sanjeev Krishna of St George’s, University of London, who reviewed the paper for the journal, told the BBC. “The landscape of malaria vaccine development is littered with carcasses, with vaccines dying left, right and center. We need to keep a watchful eye for adverse events but everything appears on track for the vaccine to be approved as early as next year.”
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