Taskforce Formed To Help Speed Licensure, Vaccine Distribution Following RTS,S Trials

GNA/Peace FM examines the recent creation of a local and international taskforce to help shorten the window of time between the completion of the clinical trial of the RTS,S malaria vaccine – currently being tested across Africa – and licensure and vaccine distribution. According to the news service, scientists recently launched a Phase III trial of the RTS,S vaccine in Kintampo, Ghana, which will include 1,200 children, between the ages of 6-12 weeks and 5-17 months. An additional 14,800 children spread across “[e]leven sites in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Gabon, Malawi, Mozambique and Burkina Faso [will also take] part in the phase three studies.”

By 2011, researchers hope to have sufficient data to present to regulatory bodies. The research is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Malaria Vaccine Initiative, and RTS,S was developed by GlaxoSmithKline in collaboration with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

“If the trial proves that the experimental vaccine works, and that it can be given along with vaccines in the Expanded Programme on Immunization, then it might become part of routine vaccines given to children in Africa,” according to GNA/Peace FM (9/4).