British pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on Wednesday signed a product transfer agreement for malaria vaccine with Bharat Biotech (BBIL) of India to boost its access in Africa.
The agreement will facilitate seamless transfer of manufacturing of the protein part of the malaria vaccine from GSK to BBIL and boost action on the leading killer of African children and pregnant mothers.
“With a child dying from malaria every two minutes, helping secure the long-term future of the only vaccine available by working with an established leader like Bharat Biotech is vital for the continued fight against the devastating disease,” Thomas Breuer, chief medical officer of GSK vaccines said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
The new malaria vaccine production transfer deal is part of the World Health Organization (WHO) backed initiative to enhance their long-term access in high-burden African nations.
According to the terms of the agreement, GSK will transfer manufacturing of the RTS, S antigen part of the malaria vaccine and facilitate granting of a license on all rights pertaining to it to BBIL.
The RTS, S/ASO1 malaria vaccine that was developed by GSK in partnership with PATH since 2001 is currently being piloted in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi under the Malaria Vaccine Implementation Programme.
So far, 500,000 children have received the first dose of the malaria vaccine in the three participating African countries since 2019 when piloting commenced.