LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline is applying for regulatory approval for the world’s first vaccine against malaria, designed for use in children in Africa.
The British drugmaker said the shot, called RTS,S, is intended exclusively for use outside the European Union but will be evaluated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Malaria, a mosquito-borne parasitic disease, kills more than 600,000 people a year, mainly babies in the poorest parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
“An effective vaccine for use alongside other measures such as bed nets and anti-malarial medicines would represent an advance in malaria control,” GSK said in a statement.
The WHO has previously indicated it may recommend use of RTS,S from as early as 2015 if EMA drugs regulators back its licence application. (Reporting by Kate Kelland, editing by Jason Neely)