Malaria has become one of the public health concerns. According to the World Health Organization, the estimated cases of malaria in 2016 was 216 million globally, which was almost 2.5% higher than that of 2015. This mosquito-borne disease causes severe illness in children and adults. Pregnant women and unborn children cannot escape from aftermaths of malaria. It is reported that malaria-affected pregnant women give premature birth or sometimes give birth to dead infants. Various safety measures to curb malaria include the use of mosquito nets, spraying of insecticides, or quinine. However, current studies have concluded that a) mosquitos are resistant to insecticides, b) insecticides have harmful effects to human beings, and c) malaria becomes resistant to drugs. Therefore, steps to curb malaria gradually decreases.
To combat this devastating scenario, the importance of malaria vaccines grows worldwide. These vaccines may help to fill the gaps of other malaria safety measures. The global malaria vaccines market is driven by increasing incidence of malaria, growing awareness of the aftermaths of the disease, and rising diagnosis and treatment rate along with recommended number of doses of malaria vaccines. However, in the next few years, the market is likely to face challenges such as high price of vaccines, weak supply chain network in developing countries, and stringent regulatory policies. On the other hand, worldwide research and development, R&D investments, vaccination programs, and technological breakthroughs are expected to open new avenues for the growth of the market in the near future.
RTS,S/AS01 (Mosquirix™) is the most advanced candidate vaccine found to combat the most lethal form of human malaria, Plasmodium falciparum. A phase 3 clinical trial of RTS,S/AS01 began in May 2009. After almost six years, the European Medicines Agency shared a positive opinion of the vaccine.
The global malaria vaccines market has been segmented based on agent, product, end-user, and region. In terms of agent, the market is categorized into Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, and Anopheles species. Based on product, the market is segmented into reagents, assays, proteins, and antibodies. In terms of end-user, the market is classified into hospitals, independent clinics, households, and others (government established health camps and health centers).
Geographically, the global malaria vaccines market is distributed over North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. According to the WHO, more than 200 million confirmed cases (90% of the global cases) of malaria were reported in the Africa region in 2015. Additionally, limited financial resources, low awareness about aftermaths of malaria, low diagnostic and treatment rate, and weak distribution channels are the potential factors which are likely to drive the MEA region to become a leading contributor of the global market. Asia Pacific is also estimated to be a potential market. According to a research, almost 1.2 million confirmed cases of malaria and 550 deaths were reported in India in the most recent times in 2015. The same study also warned that 95% of India’s population live in malaria-endemic areas and about 13 million people in Bangladesh. China which showed a high rate of malaria cases in 1970, represented only 17,000 confirmed cases of malaria in 2013. About 15 million confirmed cases of malaria were reported in the Asia Pacific region in 2016, revealed by a separate study. Most of the malaria cases in Latin America are found in the Amazon region. A study published in the British Medical Journal, in 2017, reported that Brazil displayed an increasing rate of malaria cases in recent years; the confirmed malaria cases in the country had grown to nearly 25 cases per 1,000 population in 2015 from 14 cases per 1,000 population in 2014. The North America and Europe regions displayed a minimal number of malaria cases in 2016. Nevertheless, visitors, students, and business delegates from developed countries of these regions who travel to malaria endemic regions are suggested to administer malaria vaccines.
Key players operating in the global market for malaria vaccines are GlaxoSmithKline, Nobelpharma, GenVec, Inc., and Sanaria. Other promising vendors are CellFree Sciences Co. Ltd., Cadila Healthcare Ltd., VLP Therapeutics LLC, and Genome ReS Ltd.
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