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Researchers from the Jenner Institute at NDM will present new exciting data on the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine during the 8th Pan-African Malaria Conference, in collaboration with the Rwandan Ministry of Health and the Rwanda Biomedical Centre.

Data on the phase III trial of R21/Matrix-M vaccine was published in the Lancet in February 2024, showcases unprecedented safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness.

Professor Sir Adrian Hill, Director and Lakshmi Mittal & Family professor of vaccinology at the Jenner Institute said: ‘The R21/Matrix-M vaccine represents a paradigm shift in malaria prevention, offering unprecedented safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness’.

With malaria claiming about 600,000 lives annually, primarily among African children, this milestone signals an important breakthrough in global health.

The conference will provide a comprehensive overview of the vaccine's development journey, highlighting data from phase IIb and phase III trials.

Dr Mehreen Datoo, Clinical Lecturer in Infectious Diseases at the Jenner Institute, said: ‘Through our ongoing phase III trial, we're witnessing first-hand the potential of the R21/Matrix-M vaccine to redefine malaria prevention’.

Moreover, Professor Sir Adrian Hill will outline future trials exploring the vaccine's utility across diverse populations and that the trajectory of malaria is at a turning point; for the first time ever, we have not one but two effective malaria vaccines approved and due to roll out; RTS,S/AS01 and R21/Matrix-M.

The R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine, co-developed by the University of Oxford and the Serum Institute of India, is the first to achieve the WHO-specified 75% efficacy goal. While the data for these vaccines is incredibly promising, it’s important to note that the use of other preventive measures must be maintained.

Looking ahead, the focus shifts towards widespread vaccine implementation and continued research initiatives. With the capacity to manufacture 100-200 million doses annually, the R21/Matrix-M vaccine is poised to reach every corner of Africa, ensuring equitable access for vulnerable populations.

World Malaria Day marks a landmark moment for the disease which kills a child under five every minute. The joint celebration of World Malaria Day and the 8th Pan-African Malaria Conference symbolises a unified commitment to malaria control. The University of Oxford malaria research team acknowledges the invaluable support of partners, granting agencies, and funders in realising this groundbreaking achievement.