WHO Recommends R21/Matrix-M Malaria Vaccine Developed by Oxford and Serum Institute

  • 04 Oct 2023

On 2nd Oct, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine, jointly developed by the University of Oxford and the Serum Institute of India, with the utilization of Novavax's adjuvant technology.

Key Points:

  • WHO Approval for Malaria Vaccine: The R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine has received WHO's recommendation for use, based on its adherence to essential safety, quality, and effectiveness standards.
  • This recommendation follows a thorough evaluation by WHO's independent advisory groups, including the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) and the Malaria Policy Advisory Group (MPAG).
  • Rapidly Scaling Production: The Serum Institute has already established production capacity for 100 million doses annually, with plans to double this capacity over the next two years.
  • This robust production scale is crucial for effectively vaccinating individuals at high risk of malaria, contributing to disease containment and safeguarding the vaccinated population.
  • Matrix-M Adjuvant from Novavax: Matrix-M is a proprietary saponin-based adjuvant developed by Novavax, exclusively licensed to the Serum Institute for use in malaria-endemic countries.
  • Novavax retains commercial rights for non-endemic countries.
  • Approved for Use in Multiple Countries: As of now, the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine has been granted licenses for use in Ghana, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso.
  • Second WHO-Recommended Malaria Vaccine: This vaccine's WHO recommendation is notable as it becomes the world's second WHO-recommended vaccine for malaria prevention in children.
  • It achieved this status based on promising pre-clinical and clinical trial data showcasing its safety and high efficacy across regions with both seasonal and perennial malaria transmission.