The phase III clinical trial that evaluates the effectiveness of RTS malaria vaccine, S, has shown that the drug protects against this disease and offers, in addition, a good level of tolerability and safety. The results of the study have been published in the online edition of the journal The New English Journal of Medicine, and they have performed in Seattle during the celebration of the Malaria Forum, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
According to this research, administering three doses of RTS, S to children between 5 and 17 months of age reduces the risk of developing severe malaria by 56%, or clinical malaria by 47%. The data now presented correspond to the results obtained after following during twelve months to 6,000 children of these ages who had been immunized with the RTS, S. At the end of next year, in addition, the effectiveness of this vaccine in babies from six to twelve weeks will be checked and, for 2014, it is expected to be able to assess the protection it offers in the long term.
The mechanism of action of the vaccine is based on activating the immune system so that it acts against the malaria parasite, the Plasmodium falciparum
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is developing the vaccine in collaboration with the PATH Vaccine Initiative for Malaria (MVI), and major African research centers, as well as various organizations and scientists from Europe, North America and Africa, and is being funded preferably by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The mechanism of action of the vaccine is based on activating the immune system so that it acts against the malaria parasite, the Plasmodium falciparum, preventing it from infecting the liver, and proliferate in this organ to, later, spread through the bloodstream and attack the red blood cells.
If the competent bodies approve the use of the vaccine, once it has been proven safe and effective in the long term, the World Health Organization could recommend its use in 2015, and African children, most susceptible to develop this disease, which causes the death of almost 800,000 people each year.
Sources: GSK and MVI Path