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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
I woke up to quite some good news today to hear that we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel in the search for a malaria vaccine….
GlaxoSmithKline’s quest to find a malaria vaccine has survived two mergers, a succession of chief executives and lasted nearly 30 years.
But that effort is now on track to deliver the first vaccine against one of the world’s deadliest diseases.
Scientists working on the product will on [8th October 2013] unveil the results of a trial on 15,000 African children, providing the strongest evidence yet that the shot nearly halves the number of cases of malaria in babies aged five to 17 months, and paving the way for its release.
One of those scientists is Joe Cohen, a Glaxo veteran who has dedicated the latter half of his career to developing the vaccine. Dr Cohen, now 70, admits he was no malaria expert when his employer, the then-SmithKline & French, asked him to lead a research unit dedicated to the programme in 1987.
But his team soon hit upon a “fundamental insight” which would inform their work for the next decade. They realised combining part of an already-existing Hepatitis B vaccine with a protein from the parasite which causes malaria could result in a successful shot.