Africa – The regulatory approval of world’s first vaccine against malaria in children has been applied by GlaxoSmithKline (NASDAQ:GSK) on Thursday. This will be evaluated by European Medicine Agency (EMA) in association with World Health Organisation. This vaccine has been named as a shot, RTS, S.
Malaria is a mosquito borne disease caused by protozoa known as plasmodium. They are of three species, P. Malaria, P. Vivax and P. Falciparum. Out of these three, P. Falciparum is considered to be the most fatal one. This disease cause infection in the blood, leading to the three cycles of symptoms which includes fever, chills, profuse sweating and very high or low body temperature.
This disease has a very poor scenario in Africa that too mainly in the tender section of the society. Till now the disease has killed more than 600,000 kids in sub-Saharan Africa. Due to such a huge devastation caused by the disease, experts have always hoped for a technique to develop a medicine to combat the disease. And now this dream has been realized by scientists. They have been working upon this vaccine for more than 30 years.
This vaccine was engineered using genes from the repeat and T-cells epitope in the circumsporozoite protein of P. Falciparum and a viral envelope protein of the hepatitis-B virus and the chemical adjuvant to boost the immune system response. Infection is prevented by introducing an antibody that does not allow the parasite to cause harm the target location that is liver.
This shot was experimented upon babies of age varying from six to twelve weeks, which showed that the disease can provide a modest protection and it can be cured up to just 30%. This lead to diminish the hopes linked with the eradication of malaria by a vaccine.
“Along with the vaccine the other precautionary measures should also be taken against malaria which may include the usage of mosquito repellents and bed-nets”, company added.
The company, for the production of medicine is in collaboration with non-profit PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) with huge financing by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.