30 Jun 2011
Loucq C, Birkett A, Poland D, Botting C, Nunes J, Ethelston S

With approximately 225 million new cases and 800,000 deaths annually, malaria exacts a tremendous toll—mostly on African children under the age of five. Late-stage trials of an advanced malaria vaccine candidate—which, if approved, would become the world’s first malaria vaccine—are under way, and it may be ready for use by 2015. 

This article recounts the pivotal roles in that achievement played by collaborations of nonprofit organizations, pharmaceutical companies, private and public donors, and countries whose citizens would benefit most directly from a vaccine. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it has taken a huge number of stakeholders around the world to reach this point. Developing even more effective vaccines for malaria and other diseases will require continued hard work and creative thinking from scientists, regulators, and policy makers.