Swiss company says malaria vaccine tests 'successful'

29 May 2008
Agence France Presse
A Swiss biotechnology company said Wednesday that it has successfully tested a malaria vaccine which could be marketed as early as 2014, according to a statement from directors.

Mymetics, who acquired the trial vaccine from Swiss research and development company Pevion Biotech, said it had carried out clinical trials on humans in Britain and Switzerland.

Studies on Tanzanian children and teenagers in areas where malaria is prevalent are also underway, Mymetics said.

It added that further experiments on substances which create antibodies that resist the infection were also in the pipeline.

It could take up to three years to complete clinical trials, which would set a timetable of roughly six years for the vaccination to obtain full approval, Mymetics chief executive Christain Rochet added.

"There is a pressing need for a vaccine against malaria," he said. "Up to 500 million people a year are infected, with a mortality rate of approximately two million each year."

Malaria is a deadly parastic infection passed on from infected mosquitos to humans, and strikes mainly in tropical and sub-tropical environments.

Mymetics said it is also testing a possible vaccine against the HIV-AIDS virus and tests will start later this year on 33 women in Belgium.

It said it would not market the vaccines but would seek to sell them to a major pharmaceutical group.

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