Explained: Why a malaria vaccine candidate has raised new hope, and what went into its making
R21/Matrix M has been developed by scientists at University of Oxford, the same location where the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine was developed. They’ have been working on this version for almost 6-7 years now.
A malaria vaccine candidate has shown promise in phase 2b clinical trials, with high efficacy at 77%. The results of the trial were published recently in preprints with The Lancet.
The previous version
The new vaccine candidate, called R21/Matrix M, is a modified version of RTS, S — another candidate against malaria that has been in development for more than 30 years by Walter Reed Institute of Research, GlaxoSmithKline and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative.