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Two New Studies in the New England Journal of Medicine Show Malaria Vaccine Candidate Advancing in Africa
Date:12/8/2008

NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Results published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that the world's most clinically advanced malaria vaccine candidate provides both infants and young children with significant protection against malaria. Two separate phase II trials reaffirmed earlier study results and support the ongoing efforts, pending regulatory approvals, to launch the phase III study of GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) Biologicals' RTS,S/AS vaccine candidate across Africa(1),(2).

In infants, data show for the first time that the vaccine candidate can be administered as part of existing African national immunization programs. In children aged 5 to 17 months, the candidate RTS,S/AS01 reduced the risk of clinical episodes of malaria by 53 percent over an eight-month follow-up period and was shown to have a promising safety profile. The studies were conducted in Kenya and Tanzania and were presented today at the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) annual meeting.

RTS,S/AS is the leading candidate in a global effort coordinated by the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) to develop a malaria vaccine. Malaria kills almost one million people each year -- most of them infants and young children in Africa, the intended recipients for this vaccine candidate(3).

"Today's study results strongly show that our investments in developing malaria vaccines are beginning to pay dividends," said Christian Loucq, MVI director. "We are closer than ever before to developing a malaria vaccine for children in Africa. History has shown that vaccines are the most powerful tool to control and eliminate infectious diseases. Clearly, the world urgently needs a safe and effective vaccine to win the war against this terrible disease."

The studies published today build on
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SOURCE PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative
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