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Malaria Vaccine Development Meeting Begins In Washington

Agence France-Presse reports on a malaria vaccine development meeting that kicks off Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

“One of the stars at the meeting will be the RTS,S malaria vaccine, which has been developed by GlaxoSmithKline [GSK] and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, with funding from” the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the news service writes. The experimental vaccine is currently in “Phase III trials, which test a vaccine’s safety and efficacy on a large scale, in seven African countries – Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. Enrollment is targeted to reach 16,000 children and infants.”

The meeting “follows up a conference on malaria vaccines held three years ago in London,” AFP writes. In a keynote address, Christian Ockenhouse and Thomas Ritchie will discuss U.S. military’s initiatives to fight malaria. GSK researcher Joe Cohen, an inventor of the RTS,S vaccine, will also give a keynote speech.

“People are excited that we may finally have a vaccine that can be registered and in use in five years, and making a huge contribution to what has been an uphill battle for too long,” said Gwynne Oosterbaan, vice president of Global Health Strategies, an international consulting firm. “There’s light at the end of the tunnel,” she said (9/28).