First vaccinations have now begun in Mali in a phase III trial of a malaria vaccine developed at the University of Oxford.
First vaccinations have now begun in Mali in a phase III trial of a malaria vaccine developed at the University of Oxford. Known as R21/Matrix-M, it recently showed efficacy of 77% over 12 months in a phase IIb trial, and it is hoped that this phase III trial will help to lead to licensure of this malaria vaccine by 2023.
The trial will assess efficacy and safety in 4800 children across five sites in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mali and Tanzania. A double-blind, randomised, controlled trial, where participants, aged 5-36 months, receive three vaccinations 4 weeks apart and a booster vaccination 1 year later, it will allow the vaccine to be assessed in areas of differing malaria transmission and seasonality.
The annual death toll from malaria is over 400,000, with most of these deaths amongst children in sub-Saharan Africa. There has been little improvement noted in the last 5 years despite the large amounts of funding allocated to bed nets, insecticide spraying and antimalarial drugs. An efficacious vaccine is needed to try and reach the WHO goal of reducing malaria deaths by at least 90% by 2030.
Read more at University of Oxford
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