Oxford malaria vaccine surpasses efficacy goals

April 23, 2021

Oxford University's malaria vaccine, known as R21, has been shown to be 77% effective in providing protection against the mosquito-borne disease.

The shot was tested in a 12-month long phase 2 trial of 450 children in West Africa's Burkina Faso. The vaccine is was the first to meet the World Health Organization's Malaria Vaccine Technology Roadmap goal of a malaria vaccine with at least 75% efficacy.

According the WHO, progress in finding a vaccine to combat malaria has stalled. More than 100 malaria vaccine candidates have entered clinical trials over recent decades, but none has shown the 75% efficacy targeted by the WHO. Currently, GSK's malaria vaccine Mosquirix, approved by European regulators in 2015, reduces infections by 39% in children who receive four separate doses.

According to Oxford, its vaccine candidate also has excellent potential for large-scale manufacturing and low-cost supply.

Researchers, together with their commercial partners the Serum Institute of India and drugmaker Novavax, are now recruiting for a phase 3 trial to assess large-scale safety and efficacy in 4,800 children, aged 5-36 months, across four African countries.

Read the press release