It’s almost here! The world’s first malaria vaccine was submitted for European Medicines Agency (EMA) by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The company applied for regulatory approval of a malaria vaccine that is still experimental.
This request is part of a process in which the European Medicines Agency evaluates a product that was made by an EU member state against a disease that the WHO recognizes as a major health interest for use outside the EU. The approval to use the vaccine outside the European Union will undoubtedly change the world.
Malaria is a mosquito borne disease, which killed more than 600,000 people in 2012; most of them were children in the sub-Saharan Africa region.
The Glaxo’s vaccine reduces infections by 46% in infants (aged 5 to 17 months) and by 27% for babies aged 6 to 12 weeks old. It took the London-based company 30 years to manufacture a malaria vaccine and it is now finally ready for the review that is going to be the last step before it starts doing some goon in the world.
Head of Glaxo’s malaria business, Sophie Biernaux, said in a statement today:
This is a key moment in GSK’s 30-year journey to develop RTS,S and brings us a step closer to making available the world’s first vaccine that can help protect children in Africa from malaria
Glaxo has invested over $350 million and expects to spend another $260 million on it, according to the statement the company released today. It also said that they are hoping to make a 5% profit on sales of the malaria vaccine, which they are planning to reinvest in research on the disease and other tropical diseases that don’t have a cure or vaccine.
The vaccine is intended for use in the sub-Saharan Africa, after it conducted trials at 13 research centers across the African continent. The vaccine is still far from being perfect: around 15,000 children in 7 countries displayed waning immunity, but still the British drug maker commented that it was:
An effective vaccine for use alongside other measures such as bednets and anti-malarial medicines would represent a advance in malaria control.
What are your thoughts on this matter? Are you excited that the world is so close to finally having a malaria vaccine? Have you ever had malaria? Care to share your thoughts with us in the comment section below? Drop us a line, we would love to hear from you!