For the first time, human trials for the malaria vaccine and drug development programme will be conducted in India.
This was revealed by Dr Virander Singh Chauhan, Director, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi, during the 21st National Congress of Parasitology at Panjab University here on Saturday.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Chauhan said, “The vaccine has been prepared. The Indian Regulatory Authority has been reviewing it so that necessary precautions can be taken at the time of testing. After getting approval from the authority, testing will be started immediately.”
“Almost all human trials of malaria are being conducted in South Africa as the country is most affected by the disease in the world. The ICGEB is aiming to conduct the trials in India, where states like Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, besides coastal areas, are affected by malaria on a large scale,” he said.
He said the vaccine prepared by the centre was a blood-stage vaccine, adding that no permanent vaccine against malaria had been prepared in the world yet. Chauhan said, “Every year, around 10 lakh people die of malaria across the world. The vaccine will play a vital role in the future.”
He is hopeful that the trials will start in 2010. In 2011, the second phase of the trials will be conducted. Within two years, the anti-malaria vaccine and drug will be ready and come out in the market.