Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Experts in Africa cautious on potential malaria vaccine  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 08/10/2013
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) Experts in Africa, the continent worst-hit by malaria, reacted with optimism but also caution on Tuesday to news that the first vaccine against the killer disease may soon reach the market.

GlaxoSmithKline said it was seeking approval for a prototype vaccine that reduced the risk of malaria by almost half among children aged between five and 17 months, and by around a quarter among infants aged between six and 12 weeks.

"This is the first vaccine against malaria," Sophie Biernaux, a malaria vaccine leader at GSK, told AFP in Durban.

If the British drugmaker's application is successful, the vaccine could be rolled out within two years.

The mosquito-borne disease kills an estimated 660,000 people each year, 90 percent of them in Africa, with the majority being children under five.

"This is great hope for Africa," Nilton Saraivo, a manager of Angola's national anti-malaria programme, told AFP.

But others were more cautious.

In Gabon, one of the countries where clinical trials were conducted, researcher Bertrand Lell said the vaccine's efficacy "is not very large" compared to vaccines such as the one against polio.

"But given the prevalence of malaria in Africa, you can imagine the impact it will have on people if the mortality rate is down 50 percent," said Lell, of the Lambarene Centre for Medical Research.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo -- which has the world's second-highest malaria death rate after Nigeria -- SANRU, an organisation that distributes mosquito nets to fight malaria, said it was too early to declare victory.

It noted that the vaccine did not offer a complete shield, although trials -- including assessment of a booster shot -- are ongoing.

"This is good news as long as the vaccine shows a required level of efficacy," said John Gikapa, technical advisor to SANRU.

The research was carried out at 11 centres in seven African countries, covering more than 15,000 infants and children.

GSK said it would now file an application to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) under a process aimed at marketing new drugs for poorer countries.

The European medications watchdog will then give a "scientific opinion" on the vaccine's safety and efficacy.

This opens the way for it to be considered by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which in turn can fast-track its licensing in individual countries in Africa.

The vaccine -- called RTS,S -- is a frontrunner in the race to develop the first immunisation for malaria.

The results for the Phase III trial were unveiled Tuesday at a conference in South Africa.

They are sure to raise as many questions as answers.

As well as offering less protection for very small children, the vaccine's effectiveness declined over time, data showed.

"There are a number of possible hypotheses for these differences" in effectiveness, said Lucas Otieno of the Kenya Medical Research Institute, one of the principal investigators in the trial.

The theories include possible interference with the vaccine by maternal antibodies and the impact of other vaccines administered around the same time, he said.

'Any progress welcome'

Experts are also wary about the logistics of administering the vaccine in Africa, where the people most at risk often live in poverty-stricken and difficult-to-access places.

Just getting drugs to where they are needed can be a headache, requiring proper handling in hot, humid environments and secure storage in countries where theft or corruption may be rampant.

"Any progress on fighting malaria is very welcome, and this vaccine could be another important weapon in our armoury," said Martin de Smet, a malaria specialist with Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

"Delivering injection-based vaccines in the kind of environments where malaria is prominent is also hugely challenging -- even for treatments that are 100-percent effective," he said.

"Locations are traditionally remote, with people having to walk for days to get to a health facility, and often require refrigeration."

GSK said if it gets the green light, the vaccine would probably be distributed through agencies such as the United Nations Children's Fund and the GAVI Alliance, a public-private health partnership.

The price would cover the cost of manufacturing plus a margin of five percent which would be ploughed into research for next-generation vaccines, a GSK spokesman said.


 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Jul 29 2016 - Saudi injects billions in Asia to draw clients for its oilMENAFN
(MENAFN) With crude prices deteriorating by more than half in the previous two years, the Saudis and other oil-rich nations are basically fighting to lock in and guarantee customers, according to the ...

 Jul 29 2016 - Oman's logistics flourish amid steady political climateMENAFN
(MENAFN) the logistics sector in Oman is not projected to be impacted although oil prices continue to fall, on the back of the vast investments being made in ports, airports and roads sectors ...

 Jul 29 2016 - Kuwait supports Niger's infrastructure with major loanMENAFN
(MENAFN) The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) closed USD19.7 million loan arrangement with African Niger to fund a vital transportation scheme.Accordingly, this is the 12th loan ...

 Jul 29 2016 - Ooredoo SSM's sell iTunes, Facebook, Steam, Xbox, Google Play vouchers and moreThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Ooredoo and Osool Media officials after signing a partnership agreement. Doha: Ooredoo, in partnership with Osool Media, have today announced the official launch of a ...

 Jul 29 2016 - Diversions on East Industrial Road, Al Mamoura Underpass and service road on D-Ring RoadThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Doha: The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has announced that it will put in place a temporary diversion on part of the southbound lanes of the East ...

 Jul 29 2016 - Petrol prices to go up marginally in AugustThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) DOHA: Petrol prices will see a 5 dirhams rise in August, according to the new price list issued by the Ministry of Energy and Industry. Both Super grade petrol and ...

 Jul 29 2016 - Qatar- HH the Emir Holds Session of Talks with Argentinian PresidentThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Buenos Aires: HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and President of the Argentine Republic, Mauricio Macri, held a session of official talks on Thursday night ...

 Jul 29 2016 - Qatar- Photo Album: Emir in ArgentinaThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) if(window.innerWidth < 728){ googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-796530061225000279-1'); } ...

 Jul 29 2016 - Brexit heralds a new era in UK-GCC relations?The Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) By Sean Evers You";re landing at New York";s LaGuardia Airport on the 'expressway” approach—it";s called that because you come in low enough to buzz the ...

 Jul 28 2016 - Wagner rips apart rusty ZimbabweThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Zimbabwe batsman Hamilton Masakadza runs past bowler Neil Wagner during the first day of the first test match in a series of two tests between New Zealand and hosts Zimbabwe ...

more...


 





Google

Easy Forex

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help