Time Magazine recognizes the 'First-Ever Malaria Vaccine' as the Number 2 'Top Ten Medical Breakthrough 2011'
Researchers from a public-private partnership (GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) announced early results of the ongoing phase 3 clinical trial of the RTS,S malaria vaccine Oct. 18. Eleven sites are involved in the trial, one of which is WRAIR's U.S. Army Medical Research Unit - Kenya through its more than 40-year history in Kenya and through collaboration with the Kenya Medical Research Institute. The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research has been more than just a clinical trial site. WRAIR's early research partnership with PATH and others has been critical to the development of the vaccine itself.
WRAIR and Smith Kline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline - GSK) entered into a collaborative research and development agreement from 1992 to 2010 that was instrumental in evaluating the RTS,S vaccine in early clinical studies. The first malaria vaccine protection (six of seven volunteers protected) was observed when three formulations of RTS,S were evaluated in adults challenged with malaria at WRAIR. Because of WRAIR's unique capabilities to conduct malaria clinical trials evaluating safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy by exposing volunteers to malaria-infected mosquitoes, WRAIR continued to partner with GSK and contributed greatly in evaluating additional formulations of RTS,S and dosage schedules. The pivotal phase 3 clinical trial in African children, which included over 1500 children enrolled at WRAIR's overseas site in Kenya, demonstrated 56% efficacy against clinical malaria bringing development of the first malaria vaccine closer.
Under a new CRADA, WRAIR's partnership with GSK continues to explore improvements to RTS,S to increase protection for the Warfighter.