Malaria vaccine trial begins in healthy Ghanaians

The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), University of Ghana, Legon, has announced the commencement of a Phase I clinical trial of a new malaria vaccine (EBA-175) in healthy people staying in malaria endemic area.

The malaria vaccine trial aimed at evaluating the safety and immunogenicity of the malaria vaccine in healthy adult volunteers living in and around the Legon campus, Ghana, is being sponsored by the Division of Microbiology (DMID), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The study, which is the first ever to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of this recombinant protein based-malaria vaccine candidate in a population residing in malaria endemic area is a follow up to a phase I clinical study recently completed in the United States of America that demonstrated the safety and immunogenicity profile of EBA-175 malaria vaccine candidate in healthy, malaria naïve, adult volunteers.

The Director of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Professor Alexander K. Nyarko, in a release lauded the initiative that was borne out of collaboration with NIH in the area of malaria clinical trials.

With drug and insecticide resistance impeding the current treatment and control of malaria, it is imperative that alternate means of combating malaria be found. The most cost effective tool for public health is the development of an effective vaccine which will be a huge step in eradicating malaria, which continues to kill about 900,000 people  globally each year.
Written by Sade Oguntola

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