from Nyk times article The latest clinical trial of the world’s leading malaria vaccine candidate produced disappointing results on Friday. The infants it was given to had only about a third fewer infections than a control group.
But researchers said they wanted to press on, assuming they keep getting financial support, because the number of children who die of malaria is so great that even an inefficient vaccine can save thousands of lives.
Three shots of the vaccine, known as RTS, S or Mosquirix and produced by GlaxoSmithKline, gave babies fewer than 12 weeks old 31 percent protection against detectable malaria and 37 percent protection against severe malaria, according to an announcement by the company at a vaccines conference in Cape Town.
Last year, in a trial in children up to 17 months old, the same vaccine gave 55 percent protection against detectable malaria and 47 percent against severe malaria.
The new trial “is less than we’d hoped for,” Moncef Slaoui, chairman of research and development at Glaxo, said in a telephone interview. “But if a million babies were vaccinated, we would prevent 260,000 cases of malaria a year. This is a disease that kills 655,000 babies a year — 31 percent of that is a very large number.'