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Promising trials of malaria vaccine lead to calls for Phase 3 development
Date:12/8/2008

Experts are recommending that a malaria vaccine progress to Phase 3 trials following the successful trial of the RTS, S/AS01E malaria vaccine among 5-17 month old children in Korogwe, Tanzania and coastal Kenya, which is reported today in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

In a separate paper, which also appears in the online journal today, the findings are presented of the first co-administration of the RTS, S/AS02 malaria vaccine through the WHO Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) in infants living in an area of perennial transmission in Tanzania.

The RTS,S vaccine was invented, developed and manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, an active partner and the sponsor of the trials.

Funding and technical support for the studies was provided by the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) through a grant provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Malaria persists as a major public health problem, and new tools for control of the disease are needed to facilitate the current renewed commitment for its control or elimination.

The first paper reports on the findings of a double-blind randomized trial of a novel formulation of the malaria candidate vaccine (RTS/S/AS01E, which was invented, developed and manufactured by GSK Biologicals) conducted in Tanzania and Kenya by a team of international experts. 894 children aged between 5 and 17 months, a target population for vaccine licensure, were treated and followed up between 4.5 and 10 months.

A team from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) including Lorenz von Seidlein, Reader in Clinical Epidemiology, Chris Drakeley, Senior Lecturer, clinical trials manager Jayne Gould, and Eleanor Riley, Professor of Immunology, all in the Department of Infectious Diseases, led the work in Korogwe, Tanzania in collaboration with Dr John Lusingu and colleagues from the Tanzanian National Institute for Medical Research. Dr Philip
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Contact: Gemma Howe
gemma.howe@lshtm.ac.uk
07-828-617-901
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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