Vaccine for malaria – Bharat Biotech and GSK to produce world’s first malarial vaccine
The Hyderabad-based vaccine company, Bharat Biotech will manufacture a part of the world’s first malaria vaccine – developed by pharmaceutical giant GSK. The vaccine recently got approval from WHO.
Though, it may take few years before the vaccine is launched to the market.
In January 2021, Bharat Biotech announced a product transfer partnership with the pharmaceutical company GSK for its malarial vaccine, RTS, S/AS01E1.
As part of this collaboration, GSK would transfer RTS production technology to Bharat Biotech to manufacture the S antigen component of the malaria vaccine, the license on all rights concerning it. GSK will retain to manufacture the vaccine adjuvant (AS01E) and supply it to Bharat Biotech.
A joint statement issued by GSK and Bharat Biotech stated that the contract acknowledges BBIL’s track record and proficiency in developing and supplying vaccines against contagious diseases. BBIL was chosen through a thorough, competing means conducted by GSK and PATH in association with the WHO.
Under the Malaria Vaccine Implementation Programme, the RTS, S/AS01E malaria vaccine has been piloted in the regions of Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi. It was developed by GSK for over 30 years andin association with PATH since 2001.
The statement also stated that the agreement with BBIL is the outcome of the works of GSK, PATH, and WHO to help assure a sustainable and durable supply of vaccines, in the event of a WHO policy guidance for more widespread usage and a commitment of continued financing.
Recently, WHO endorsed the extensive use of malaria vaccines amongst kids in sub-Saharan Africa and other areas with medium to high transmission of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The endorsement is based on the findings of continuing pilot programs in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi that have reached over 800,000 kids since 2019.
It further stated that GSK has guaranteed to give up to 10 million RTS, S/AS01E dosages for use in the pilot project, and to give up to 15 million dosages yearly till 2028 if the product is approved for broader use by WHO. It is anticipated that by 2029, Bharat Biotech will be the only supplier of the vaccine, with GSK providing the adjuvant.