Wellcome responds to malaria vaccine phase III trial results

The results of the phase III trial of the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine were published today in the Lancet.

The trial included 4,800 children in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mali and Tanzania, and its findings confirmed that the vaccine is safe and up to 78% effective.

Responding to this news, Audrey Duncanson, Innovations Transition Manager at Wellcome, said: “Malaria still remains a huge global health risk for nearly half of the world’s population, with the burden of this disease predominantly in African countries causing approximately 600,000 deaths in children under the age of 5 years. The results from this recent phase III trial of the malaria vaccine, R21, holds huge potential for a transformative impact on malaria in children. This is an important step towards getting a highly effective safe, readily accessible affordable vaccine to protect children from malaria in African countries. 

"This work could only have been achieved through collaboration between researchers, communities and participants, industry and policymakers around the world. I hope this effort continues and we will see more lost-cost, highly effective vaccines reaching those living in malaria-endemic areas.”

Last year, the R21/Matrix-M vaccine was recommended for use by the World Health Organisation.

Wellcome supported the early-stage testing of the R21 vaccine.