London: The world’s first known vaccine for malaria got the nods on Friday from European drug regulators who recommended it should be licensed for use in Africa.
The shot, called RTS, S or Mosquirix and developed by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline in partnership with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, would be the first licensed human vaccine against a parasitic disease and could help prevent millions of cases of malaria in countries that use it.
Recommendations for a drug licence made by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) are normally endorsed by the European Commission within a couple of months.
Mosquirix, also part-funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will also now be assessed by the World Health Organisation, which has promised to give its guidance on when and where it should be used before the end of this year.
Malaria killed an estimated 584,000 people in 2013, the vast majority of them in sub-Saharan Africa. More than 80 per cent of malaria deaths are in children under the age of five.