Microsoft co-founder Gates has turned his attention from software to fighting disease and other ills around the world with his wife, under the auspices of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The charity has disbursed more than $28 billion and provided funding for the world’s most clinically advanced malaria vaccine, Mosquirix developed by GlaxoSmithKline.
Mosquirix, or RTS,S, is the first malaria vaccine to reach Phase III clinical testing — the final stage before market approval — and the first to be assessed by regulators. It received a nod from European regulators in July.
A WHO expert panel in October recommended pilot roll-outs of the vaccine to young children in several areas of sub-Saharan Africa, before considering wider use.
The WHO is expected to follow the panel’s recommendations, which could result in Mosquirix becoming the first licensed vaccine against a parasitic disease. But a decision still lies a way off.
In April last year, the results of a years-long trial with 15,500 children in seven African countries were published in The Lancet medical journal — announcing mixed success.
Only around a third of the children who received the vaccine were protected for the full duration of the trial, researchers found.
But even so, the vaccine has the potential to prevent millions of cases and could save thousands of lives.
The new announcement comes days after the philanthropist Gates revealed plans for a $100 million scheme to cut malnutrition in Nigeria.
EXCERPT FROM: Guardian News
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