Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

On Tues 6 June 2017, researchers vaccinated volunteers and began Mahidol University’s study of the malaria vaccine RTS,S/AS01. This is the first study in Asia of the vaccine, an advanced product that has received regulatory approval in Europe.

Researchers with Nick White

On Tues 6 June, researchers vaccinated volunteers and began Mahidol University’s study of the malaria vaccine RTS,S/AS01. This is the first study in Asia of the vaccine, an advanced product that has received regulatory approval in Europe.

Several extensive clinical trials of RTS,S/AS01 have previously been conducted in children in sub-Saharan Africa. In a large Phase 3 trial of RTS,S/AS01E at 11 sites in seven sub-Saharan African countries, efficacy against clinical malaria in children aged 5–17 months following three primary doses was 45.1% (CI 41.4 to 48.7), 35.2% (CI 30.5 to 39.5) and 28.3% (CI 23.3 to 32.9) during 20, 32 and 48 months of follow-up, respectively.

Profs. Sasithon (3rd left), Nick White (centre) and colleagues show their delight that Mahidol’s RTS,S/AS01 vaccine study has started. Right: The RTS,S/AS01 vaccine and adjuvant.

While such a “leaky” vaccine is not ideal in high transmission settings, it could be useful in combination with other interventions such as mass drug administrations in the elimination of malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion, leading malaria researchers say.

“RTS,S is the most advanced of the malaria vaccine candidates. This is the first time the vaccine is evaluated in an Asian population. If found to be safe and effective, RTS,S could be the urgently needed tool to expedite the elimination of malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion,” said Dr Lorenz von Seidlein, Coordinator of MORU’s TME programme.

Expected to last 6 months, the Mahidol study will recruit 190 health adult volunteers to explore the immunogenicity and safety of various vaccine regimens with and without antimalarial drugs.

Funded by the Malaria Vaccine Initiative/PATH, the study is supervised by Mahidol Prof Sasithon Pukrittayakamee, Dr Borimas Hanboonkunupakarn and Dr Podjanee Jittamala and is coordinated by Pongphaya Pongsuwan. MORU investigators Sir Nick White, Nick Day, Arjen Dondorp and Lorenz von Seidlein will support the study implementation.

Similar stories

RECOVERY trial finds aspirin does not improve survival for patients hospitalised with COVID-19

The RECOVERY trial was established as a randomised clinical trial to test a range of potential treatments for patients hospitalised with COVID-19. Patients with COVID-19 are at increased risk of blood clots forming in their blood vessels, particularly in the lungs. Between November 2020 and March 2021, the RECOVERY trial included nearly 15,000 patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in an assessment of the effects of aspirin, which is widely used to reduce blood clotting in other diseases. There was no significant difference in the primary endpoint of 28-day mortality

The COVID-19 International Modelling Consortium (CoMo Consortium) enters a new phase

Created in March 2020 to assist policymakers to make use of existing evidence in mathematical and epidemiological models to inform strategies for minimising the impact of COVID-19, the CoMo Consortium brings together mathematical modellers, epidemiologists, health economists and public health experts from more than 40 countries across Africa, Asia and South and North America.

ASM Editor in conversation with Nick White

Malaria continues to be a major killer, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, affecting the world’s most vulnerable populations with more than 500,000 deaths per year, most of them African children. Emergence of resistance to antimalarial drugs is major public health issue. American Society for Microbiology Editor Dr Cesar Arias discusses with Professor Sir Nick White the latest information on this rapidly evolving field.

New Pandemic Sciences Centre at the University of Oxford

The University of Oxford announces the launch of a centre of global research collaboration and excellence, the Pandemic Sciences Centre. The need for partnership between academic excellence, industry and public health organisations is one of the key lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic. This centre will unite disciplines, and sectors, to build agile, equitable partnerships that can tackle complex problems and respond to pandemic threats at any time.

AMR and scrub typhus among Chiangrai Unit's research priorities

Which infections are most common in the Chiangrai region? How should we treat them and how can we improve diagnostic? Which strategies are most effective in directing antibiotic treatment? Blog by Carlo Perrone, research physician based at the Chiang Rai Clinical Research Unit in Chiangrai, Thailand.

Arjen Dondorp, Peter Horby and Rose McGready elected Academy of Medical Sciences Fellows

"Although it is hard to look beyond the pandemic right now," says President of the Academy of Medical Sciences Professor Dame Anne Johnson, "I want to stress how important it is that the Academy Fellowship represents the widest diversity of biomedical and health sciences. The greatest health advances rely on the findings of many types of research, and on multidisciplinary teams and cross-sector and global collaboration."