New malaria vaccines roadmap targets next generation products by 2030

November 14, 2013, WHO

The world should aim to have vaccines which reduce malaria cases by 75 percent, and are capable of eliminating malaria, licensed by 2030, according to the updated 2013 Malaria Vaccine Technology Roadmap, launched today. This new target comes in addition to the original 2006 Roadmap's goal of having a licensed vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum malaria, the most deadly form of the disease, for children under 5 years of age in sub-Saharan Africa by 2015.

"Safe, effective, affordable vaccines could play a critical role in defeating ," said Dr Robert D. Newman, Director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Global Malaria Programme. "Despite all the recent progress countries have made, and despite important innovations in diagnostics, drugs and vector control, the global burden of malaria remains unacceptably high."

The most recent figures by WHO indicate that malaria causes an estimated 660,000 deaths each year from 219 million cases of illness. Scale-up of WHO recommended malaria control measures has been associated with a 26 percent reduction in the global malaria death rate over the last decade. Effective malaria vaccines could be an important complement to existing measures, if they can be successfully developed.

Final results from Phase III trials of the most advanced vaccine candidate, RTS,S/AS01, will be available by 2015. Depending on the final trial results, and depending on the outcome of the regulatory review by the European Medicines Agency, a WHO recommendation for use and subsequent prequalification of this first vaccine could occur in late 2015.

The new roadmap, launched today at the annual conference of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene in Washington, DC and also announced in a letter published in The Lancet, aims to identify where additional funding and activities will be particularly key in developing second generation malaria vaccines both for protection against malaria disease and for malaria elimination. These include next-generation vaccines that target both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax species of malaria.

"The new vaccines should show at least 75 percent efficacy against clinical malaria, be suitable for use in in all malaria-endemic areas, and be licensed by 2030," says Dr Jean-Marie Okwo Bele, Director of WHO's Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals. "The roadmap also sets a target for malaria vaccines that reduce transmission of the parasite."

The 2013 Malaria Vaccine Technology Roadmap cites several reasons for the update, among them changing malaria epidemiology associated with the successful scale-up of malaria control measures in the last decade, a renewed focus on malaria elimination and eradication in addition to the ongoing need to sustain activities, and new technological innovations since 2006 including promising early work on so-called transmission-blocking malaria vaccines.

WHO lists 27 candidates currently in clinical trials, with most in early stages of testing; RTS,S/AS01 is the only one currently in late-stage development.

The roadmap's vision centres on developing safe and effective vaccines against Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax that prevent disease and death and prevent transmission to enable malaria eradication, and is built around two strategic goals:

  • Development of malaria vaccines with protective efficacy of at least 75 percent against clinical malaria suitable for administration to appropriate at-risk groups in malaria-endemic areas.
  • Development of malaria vaccines that reduce transmission of the parasite and thereby substantially reduce the incidence of human malaria infection. This will enable elimination in multiple settings. Vaccines to reduce transmission should be suitable for administration in mass campaigns.

Explore further: Cross-species malaria immunity induced by chemically attenuated parasites

More information: www.malariavaccine.org/malvac-roadmap.php;

Related Stories

Cross-species malaria immunity induced by chemically attenuated parasites

July 1, 2013
Malaria, a mosquito-born infectious disease, kills over 600,000 people every year. Research has focused on the development of a vaccine to prevent the disease; however, many malaria vaccines targeting parasite antigens have ...

Travelers push US malaria count highest in 40 yrs

October 31, 2013
U.S. malaria cases are at their highest level in four decades, mostly from Americans bringing home an unwelcome souvenir from their travels.

Malaria vaccine candidate reduces disease over 18 months of follow-up in phase 3 children's study

October 7, 2013
Results from a large-scale Phase III trial, presented today in Durban, show that the most clinically advanced malaria vaccine candidate, RTS,S, continued to protect young children and infants from clinical malaria up to 18 ...

$450 mn needed to tackle 'grave' malaria threat, WHO says

October 24, 2013
Hundreds of millions of dollars are needed to stop a deadly form of drug-resistant malaria jumping from Southeast Asia to the rest of the world, the World Health Organisation said Thursday.

Eliminating malaria has longlasting benefits for many countries

February 21, 2013
Many nations battling malaria face an economic dilemma: spend money indefinitely to control malaria transmission or commit additional resources to eliminate transmission completely.

Mosquito bites deliver potential new malaria vaccine

September 11, 2013
This study suggests that genetically engineered malaria parasites that are stunted through precise gene deletions (genetically attenuated parasites, or "GAP") could be used as a vaccine that protects against malaria infection. ...

Recommended for you

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

Study reveals how MRSA infection compromises lymphatic function

January 17, 2018
Infections of the skin or other soft tissues with the hard-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria appear to permanently compromise the lymphatic system, which is crucial to immune system function. ...

Fresh approach to tuberculosis vaccine offers better protection

January 17, 2018
A unique platform that resulted in a promising HIV vaccine has also led to a new, highly effective vaccine against tuberculosis that is moving toward testing in humans.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.