More than half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria infection. Currently RTS,S/AS01, developed by GSK Biologicals SA, is the most advanced malaria vaccine candidate.
Analysis of data by the RTS,S Clinical Trials Partnership from an ongoing phase III study in Africa indicates that vaccination of children and young infants with RTS,S/AS01 prevented many cases of clinical and severe malaria. The impact of vaccination was highest in regions with the highest incidence of malaria.
During 18 months of follow-up analysis, vaccine efficacy was 45% in children aged 5 months to 17 months and 27% in infants aged 6 weeks to 12 weeks. In both age groups, vaccine efficacy was greatest in the first six months after vaccination.
“Vaccination with RTS,S/AS01 could have a major public health impact in sub-Saharan Africa,” the RTS,S Clinical Trials Partnership investigators write in
(online, 29 July 2014).