The malaria vaccine candidate RTS,S is looking even more promising, according to preliminary clinical trial results published in the New England Journal of Medicine . Early data from a large-scale Phase III trial conducted in seven African countries show that the vaccination regimen “can reduce the risk of clinical malaria by more than half in African children aged five to 17 months during the 12 months after vaccination.”
GAVI stands for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, and serves as a global health partnership aimed at increasing access to immunization programs in poor countries. The success with RTS,S, notes GAVI , is a direct result of public-private partnerships, including the Malaria Vaccine Initiative at PATH, GlaxoSmithKline, and the 11 African research centers conducting the trial.
In fact, pharma companies have been teaming up more and more with academic, nonprofit, and government institutions in recent years to share data as well as trial best practices and sites. GSK in particular has been instrumental in the search for treatments of neglected diseases by opening up its patent pool.
Malaria kills more than 700,000 people a year, according to WHO, and requires a global solution to stop its spread. The possibility of adding malaria to the list of diseases for which there are available vaccinations is incredible. Such efforts and partnerships can ideally lend themselves to the fight against other diseases as well in the future.
Read more about global health efforts on PharmTech.com/global+health.