The World Health Organization on Monday moved ahead to state that the world’s first malaria vaccine, which a matter of fact is constituted by a key component manufactured by Agenus Inc (NASDAQ:AGEN) will be made accessible to patients in different parts of Africa from early next year.
An African officer working with WHO has gone ahead to reveal that Kenya, Ghana and Malawi have showcased their great willingness to actually participate in a pilot program for the injectable vaccine, which according to sources happened to have been developed by GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK), which is indeed a giant drug manufacturer.
The bark of an evergreen tree that grows in Chile is where the adjuvant, called the QS-21 Stimulon is derived from. The Phase 3 study indicated that the new vaccine as a matter of fact had major capabilities in terms of toning down the risk of contracting malaria among children of between five to 17 months.
From the records, Malaria, which is indeed a mosquito-borne illness, took away about 429,000 lives in 2015, with the largest number being young children in the African continents. With that said, it then goes without saying that indeed the new move was timely considering that the African continent needed the vaccine in a great way.
The WHO’s regional director in Africa in a stement outlined, “The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Combined with existing malaria interventions, such a vaccine would have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives in Africa.”
GSK is also widely known to manufacture shingles vaccine which contains Agenus’ adjuvant. In 2015, Agenus borrowed an amount totaling to about $100 million from an investment firm Oberland Capital Management.
In exchange, the provider made the move to give Oberland the full rights to global royalties on both the shingles vaccines and malaria till that moment that the whole loan will be eventually settled.
It is important to outline that the provider did what it thought was to its best interests. As a matter of fact a lot of talk is moving around about the decision by the company, but what everyone needs to understand is that any successful business has to meet up challenges from time to time.