Can BioNTech’s BNT165b1 malaria vaccine stand up to Oxford’s R21?

Malaria parasite connecting to a red blood cell [Image courtesy of NIAID]

The mRNA vaccine company BioNTech (Nasdaq:BNTX) has begun a Phase 1 study of BNT165b1, a multi-antigen malaria vaccine candidate that belongs to its BNT165 malaria program. 

Researchers at Oxford University are farther along with their R21/Matrix-M vaccine. A recently completed Phase 3 trial focused on R21. It could win licensure in 2023. 

In a Phase 2 study published in The Lancet, a booster of the R21 vaccine continued to offer strong protection against malaria one year after primary vaccination with three doses. In addition, the vaccine met the World Health Organization’s Malaria Vaccine Technology Roadmap standard of providing at least 75% efficacy.  

Oxford University is working with the Serum Institute of India to develop the R21 vaccine. 

Researchers at Oxford University were also instrumental in developing the …

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