R21/Matrix-M happens to have a saponin-based adjuvant, Matrix-M, which goes on to enhance the immune response, thereby making it more viable and also durable.
It is well to be noted that the adjuvant stimulates the entry of the antigen-presenting cells within the injection site and also goes on to elevate the antigen presentations within the local lymph nodes. Apparently, this technology has been used pretty accurately in the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Novavax.
In case of phase II trials, malaria vaccine showed high levels of efficacy and safety in children who went on to receive a booster dose a year after a primary three-dosage course.
Significantly, the booster dose of R21/Matrix-M continued to be in sync with the WHO’s Malaria Vaccine Technology Roadmap objective of a vaccination that possesses a minimum 75% rate of efficacy.
The 2021 result from the Phase IIb trial followed it, which reported that R21/Matrix-M showed a high level of efficacy of almost 77%. According to the current data, the ongoing Phase III trial, which went on to enrol 4800 kids, showed high efficacy levels as well as a reassuring safety profile. More inferences from the R21/Matrix-M vaccine trials are anticipated to come later in 2023.
The R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine, which was developed by the University of Oxford, has been given the go-ahead to be used in Ghana in the middle of April and is also authorised to be used in Nigeria on April 17.
The malaria vaccine approval in Ghana was the first in the world. It was granted full national licensure by the Ghanian Food and Drugs Authority and was authorised to be used for children between 5 months and 36 months. Apparently, this age group happens to be at the highest risk of malarial deaths.
As per Adrian Hill, the chief investigator of the R21/Matrix-M programme as well as the director of Oxford University’s Jenner Institute at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, this feat marks the end of 30 years of Oxford’s malaria vaccine analysis. He added that Ghana’s regulatory approval happens to be a vital step in helping to reduce the more than half a million deaths that occur every year.
As per Professor Hill, the collaboration with the vaccine’s manufacturer held the key to accomplished and large-scale manufacturing as well as rapid development. According to the manufacturer, they have the capacity to manufacture more than 200 million doses.