PATH welcomes GSK announcements on RTS,S malaria vaccine candidate

PATH said it welcomed announcements made by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) CEO Andrew Witty concerning sustainable pricing and vaccine donations for RTS,S malaria vaccine candidate, currently in a large, late-stage clinical trial that is supported by the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI). Christian Loucq, director of MVI, said, “The announcements…are positive steps in the long pathway from discovery to delivery of RTS,S. These commitments help to illustrate the potential of product development partnerships—like the one between MVI and GSK Biologicals—for meeting the health needs of people in developing countries.”

In a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Witty “committed to setting a price for RTS,S that would cover GSK’s costs and generate a small return that would be re-invested in research and development for next-generation malaria vaccines and vaccines against other neglected diseases. GSK also committed to donating at least 12.5 million doses of RTS,S (if approved for use) to PATH.”

PATH said that GSK Biologicals, the vaccine division of GSK, and PATH signed a collaboration agreement in 2001 to pursue the pediatric clinical development of RTS,S in Africa. To advance the development program, African research centers in five countries, and collaborating institutions, joined the partnership. Centers in two additional African countries have joined for the Phase 3 trial. Together, these partners comprise the Clinical Trials Partnership Committee and lead the clinical development of RTS,S, PATH said.

Christopher J. Elias, president and CEO of PATH, commented, “Like other PATH programs, MVI’s mission goes beyond development of a health intervention to ensuring that it is available at the lowest price possible and readily accessible to all who need it. In light of the commitments made today and as we get closer to the day that the RTS,S vaccine candidate—if all goes well—could be available for use, we look forward to working with GSK, as well as other global partners, to ensure that malaria vaccines are available to the children that need them most.”

20 January 2010.

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