Thursday, October 7, 2021

Bharat Biotech in partnership with GSK to produce world's 1st malaria vaccine approved by WHO

Bharat Biotech will produce the world's first RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) malaria vaccine approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) against the mosquito-borne illness that kills over 400,000 people each year, primarily African children.

The malaria vaccine developed by global pharmaceutical major GlaxoSmithkline (GSK) as part of global efforts to battle the deadly fever will take at least 2-3 years for the vaccine to be launched, people in the know told Economic Times.

In good news for India on two accounts -- — the country’s own significant malaria burden; and the fact that by 2029, Indian firm Bharat Biotech is slated to be the sole global manufacturer of the vaccine.

Spent over 30 years developing and testing the world's first malaria vaccine, Bharat Biotech is the global technology transfer recipient from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Bharat Biotech is constructing a dedicated facility at Bhubaneswar for the manufacturing of the malaria vaccine.

PATH, an international non-profit that works with countries and institutions on health problems, GSK, and Bharat Biotech India Ltd (BBIL) in January this year, announced the signing of a product transfer agreement for the malaria vaccine.

Also watch: EXPLAINED: The New Vaccine Against Malaria

However, the vaccine needs to be used in combination with existing mosquito control measures such as nets, repellents etc — much like use of masks in Covid vaccinated individuals.

The process of technology transfer has already started. Currently GSK is conducting the supplies from one of its plants, but will move the entire production to Bharat Biotech by 2028.

Bharat Biotech, chairman and managing director Krishna M Ella was quoted as saying, We salute the commitment by GSK, PATH, and partners, in developing a novel vaccine against malaria, a dreaded disease with more than 200 million cases worldwide. We are truly honoured to support this partnership and to provide global access to RTS,S/AS01E. With prior expertise in malaria research, WHO prequalified vaccines, supplied to more than 70 countries, Bharat Biotech is geared up for large-scale manufacturing, and to provide continuous long-term supply of this life-saving vaccine.

Malaria, the deadly fever, remains a primary cause of childhood illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa. More than 260 000 African children under the age of five die from malaria annually.



from asianetnews

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