A Malaria vaccine developed by British scientists could save the lives of millions of young children in developing countries. The jab, made by GlaxoSmithKline, reduced the risk of severe disease and death by more than 70%. The trial was conducted on nearly 6,000 children aged between five months and 17 months in Burkina Faso and Mali surpassed all expectations. Despite over a dozen vaccines being in development for Malaria, which kills more than 400,000 people a year globally, there is no approved medicine.
Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine who carried out the latest trial are confident that the World Health Organization will recommend the vaccine when an expert panel meets in October. The pharmaceutical giant has explained how much the medicine will cost but claims it was developed to contribute to global health rather than make large profits.
The pharmaceutical company’s vaccine contains a protein also found on the Malaria parasite, which is combined with a hepatitis B protein. Together, they form non-infectious particles which appear virus-like to the immune system and train it to fend off the real Malaria parasite.