The hunt for Malaria Vaccine

A leading journal has published this article on malaria vaccine

An international team of scientists that includes a researcher from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory has determined the three-dimensional molecular structure of a promising malaria-vaccine component. This research may help lead to a successful vaccine for the disease, which currently infects approximately 400 million people worldwide and kills about two million people each year — mostly children. The study is described in the August 29, 2005, online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

From Business Standard

The country’s first malaria vaccine, test-manufactured by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, has entered human trials.

The vaccine technology was developed by the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi, in a three-way partnership involving Malaria Vaccine Initiative of the US-based Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) with $ 50 million funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It was licensed to Bharat Biotech as it has been the scaling up and manufacturing partner in the collaborative project.

The vaccine developed by Indian researchers promises to protect against the world’s most widespread form of malaria. Samples have been sent to PATH for global trials and the clinical investigations are currently on in different parts of the world especial in India and African countries, said sources from the company.

and finally the outsourcing angle! (from Hindu)

The US-based drug-maker Wyeth is poised to bring into India its $1-billion paediatric vaccine for pneumococcal diseases.

French vaccine-maker Sanofi-Pasteur’s influenza vaccine should be in India in a week and four more are expecting regulatory approvals by mid-2006.

The UK-based GlaxoSmithKline, for which vaccines are a Rs 100-crore business in India, set up a vaccine manufacturing facility in Maharashtra earlier this year.

And there’s more, says Dr Nitin Shah, President of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics. Vaccines for rotavirus (related to gastroenteritis), malaria, meningitis, cholera, and polio are in the pipeline, at different stages of development.

“Why should we deprive our kids if a vaccine is good and can prevent an illness,” asks a Sanofi representative, questioning the scepticism over vaccines and their benefits.