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Two Leading Drug Firms Join Forces for Next-Generation Malaria Vaccine

From BioMed Reports (June 7, 2011)

Below is a look at some of the headlines for companies that made news in the healthcare sector on June 6, 2011.

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), through its newly acquired Dutch unit Crucell, plan to start a clinical trial using the so-called "prime-boost" vaccine within the next couple of months.

GSK's first-generation vaccine, known as RTS,S or Mosquirix, is in late-stage development and could reach the market in 2015. It is only around 50 percent effective and the hope is the next one will take things to a new level.

The new vaccine is an amended version of the current GSK shot that adds an engineered common cold virus developed by Crucell to "prime" the immune system to get a stronger response.

Patients will get a single dose of Crucell's weakened virus vaccine, followed by two doses of Mosquirix.

In preclinical studies, the new approach has generated an enhanced immunity effect when compared with either vaccine component given alone.

The initial Phase I/IIa clinical trial starting this year should produce data within 18 to 24 months and, if successful, will start a lengthy process of follow-up studies.

With thousands of patients needed for later-stage studies, it is likely to be between 2020 and 2025 before GSK and J&J have a viable set of data to submit to regulators for approval.


Posted: June 2011