Malaria Vaccines

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Last reviewed
November 22, 2023
Content Overview
Malaria is a vaccine preventable disease with approved vaccines available in Africa as of 2023.

Malaria Vaccines 2023

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite. Unlike other diseases, exposure to malaria parasites does not confer lifelong protection, and acquired immunity only partially protects people against future malaria disease. Malaria vaccines have been approved for use in Africa and are reported to be effective at preventing disease. On October 6, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended the Mosquirix™ (RTS,S/AS01) malaria vaccine, and the R21 / Matrix-M™ vaccine was approved in Nigeria and Ghana in 2023. The WHO says the annual global demand for malaria vaccines is estimated to be 40–60 million doses by 2026, increasing to 80–100 million doses annually by 2030. 

According to Coherent Market Insights, the malaria vaccine market segment was valued at $41 million in 2022 and is expected to realize an annual growth rate of about 29% through 2030. On World Malaria Day 2023, the WHO Guidelines for Malaria consolidate the most up-to-date malaria recommendations. As of November 22, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had not approved a malaria vaccine.

Malaria Vaccines Approved 2023

Mosquirix™ RTS, S/AS01 (RTS, S) Malaria Vaccine - GSK's Mosquirix is a recombinant vaccine of the P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein from the pre-erythrocytic stage. As of July 2023, twelve African countries, including Kenya and Camarron, are set to receive 18 million doses over the next two years.

R21/Matrix-M™ Serum Institute of India's malaria vaccine was co-produced by scientists at the University of Oxford and Novavax AB.

Malaria Vaccine Candidates 2023

The Lancet Infectious Disease published in July 2023 results from a phase 1 study evaluating the effectiveness of the Gamete vaccine Pfs230D1-EPA/Alhydrogel to zygote vaccine Pfs25-EPA/Alhydrogel. Pfs230D1, but not the Pfs25 vaccine, induces durable serum functional activity in Malian adults.

RH5.1/AS01 Malaria Vaccine - RH5.1/AS01 is a novel recombinant malaria antigen developed at the University of Oxford.

BNT165 mRNA Malaria Vaccine - BioNTech is building the first vaccine for malaria based on mRNA technology to eradicate mosquito-borne illness. The phase 1 clinical trial evaluates the safety, tolerability, and exploratory immunogenicity of the 3-dose vaccine candidate BNT165b1 and is expected to enroll 60 U.S. volunteers with no malaria history.

BioNTech's Malaria project was first announced in July 2021.

Maryland-based Sanaria Inc.'s non-replicating whole parasite PfSPZ vaccine candidate is made with a live-attenuated form of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite. Clinical studies have been shown to provide about 90% protection in a challenging clinical trial.

Ocean Biomedical has been awarded a new patent for a parasite target called PfCDPK-5 that can potentially be used to prevent the parasite at multiple stages in the malaria cycle in a multivalent mRNA-based malaria vaccine. In addition, recent studies in Nature identified PfGARP as a target of human antibodies that kill up to 100% of parasites in vitro. 

AgTRIO mRNA-lipid nanoparticle (LNP) was assessed for its potential usefulness as a vaccine against malaria.

Malaria Treatments

Various antimalarial treatments are approved in 2023.

Malaria Outbreaks

Updated malaria outbreak news is posted at Precision Vax.

Malaria Vaccine News 2023

August 22, 2023 - An editorial published in The Lancet says the WHO recommends that seasonal malaria vaccination with recombinant circumsporozoite protein-based RTS, S/AS01E, and chemoprevention, with sulfadoxine, pyrimethamine, and amodiaquine be administered monthly during the rainy season when malaria transmission peaks.

August 18, 2023 - GAVI reported as of mid-2023, 96.5% of eligible children in Vihiga, Kenya, have received at least one of four doses of the RTS, S vaccine.

July 11, 2023 - Based on discoveries by Scientific Co-founder Jonathan Kurtis, MD, Ph.D., Ocean Biomedical is working on a multivalent mRNA-based malaria vaccine with the potential to target several stages in the malaria cycle.

June 8, 2023 - Ocean Biomedical, Inc. announced a new patent for his malaria vaccine discoveries that may be used to prevent the parasite at multiple stages in the malaria cycle.

June 7, 2023 - The journal Vaccines published a new study: A mosquito AgTRIO mRNA vaccine contributes to immunity against malaria.

April 25, 2023 - The WHO urges increased implementation of recommended tools to combat malaria.

April 21, 2023 - VOA Africa reported that regulatory authorities in ten other African countries are reviewing data assessing malaria vaccines.

April 13, 2023 - The Republic of Ghana's FDA approved the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine.

January 25, 2023 - The Lancet published - Monoclonals against malaria: the promise of passive protection.