News

    Malaria Vaccine Shows Promise

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Scientists are one step closer to a vaccine against one of the world's most devastating diseases. Malaria causes more than 300 million cases of illness and claims at least a million lives every year. An experimental malaria vaccine shows promising results in a new study.

    Researchers gave about 1,600 children in Mozambique either the malaria vaccine or a control vaccine. During a six months of surveillance, children receiving the malaria vaccine had a 30 percent lower risk of developing the disease. The vaccine performed even better against severe malaria, cutting cases of the potentially fatal version by 58 percent. The research appears in the medical journal The Lancet.

    Study leader Pedro Alonso at the University of Barcelona in Spain says this is the best result ever seen for a vaccine against malaria.

    "With this, a vaccine could make a huge impact and really control this devastating disease and, most importantly, contribute to breaking the cycle of disease and poverty that so badly affects so many of the sub-Saharan countries," said Pedro Alonso.

    Vaccines against most other diseases are much more effective. But Dr. Alonso says for a disease that costs Africa and the world millions of lives and billions of dollars a year, even a partially effective vaccine would be a valuable tool.

    Another round of research will be needed before the vaccine can be approved for general use. If the results hold up in this larger study, the vaccine's maker, GlaxoSmithKline, hopes to have it on the market by 2010.

    The vaccine contains two active ingredients delivered in a complex broth. That means it would likely cost more than many common vaccines, according to Jean Stephenne, president of GlaxoSmithKline subsidiary GSK Biologicals.

    "Let's not think that this type of vaccine will cost tomorrow $1," he said. "I don't think anybody in the world can do it for $1. It's not feasible."

    Mr. Stephenne estimates it might cost $10 to $20 per dose, but a company spokesman emphasized that was a hypothetical figure.

    Very few companies have been interested in developing a malaria vaccine because of the high cost of development and the low potential for financial return. Most of the funding to develop this vaccine came from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, through the Malaria Vaccine Initiative, or MVI for short. Other companies besides GlaxoSmithKline are also part of MVI. If any of them come up with a better product, MVI director Melinda Moree says the public-private partnership will work hard to get it to market. But she says it would be harder than working with a company with GlaxoSmithKline's track record.

    "It would definitely require a very different approach than when you have a partner who already manufactures vaccines in very large quantities and delivers them to the developing world," said Melinda Moree.

    Experts agree that while a vaccine is in development, access to insecticide-treated bed nets and better anti-malaria drugs need to improve.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.