The world’s first malaria vaccine has received a green light
from European drugs regulators who recommended it
should be licensed for use in babies in Africa who are at risk
of the mosquito-borne disease.
The shot, called RTS,S or Mosquirix, would be the first
licensed human vaccine against a parasitic disease and
could help prevent millions of cases of malaria in countries
that use it.
The vaccine was developed by British drugmaker
GlaxoSmithKline in partnership with the PATH Malaria
Recommendations for a drug licence made by the European
Medicines Agency are normally endorsed by the European
Commission within a couple of months.
Mosquirix, also part-funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation, will also now be assessed by the World Health
Organisation, which has promised to give its guidance on
when and where it should be used before the end of this
Malaria killed an estimated 584,000 people in 2013, the vast
majority of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
More than 80 percent of malaria deaths are in children
under the age of five.
Andrew Witty, GSK’s chief executive, said EMA’s positive
recommendation was a further important step towards
making the world’s first malaria vaccine available for young
“While RTS,S on its own is not the complete answer to
malaria, its use alongside those interventions currently
available such as bed nets and insecticides would provide a
very meaningful contribution to controlling the impact of
malaria on children in those African communities that need
it the most,” he said in a statement.