MedAccess, a social finance company founded by CDC, has agreed an innovative financing agreement with Gavi, the vaccine alliance, and GlaxoSmithKline(GSK) to guarantee continued production of the antigen for the RTS,S/AS01e vaccine – the first malaria vaccine to be proven safe and effective in a large Phase 3 clinical trial.
The vaccine is currently being piloted in routine immunisation programmes in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, through the Malaria Vaccine Implementation Programme (MVIP). The World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to decide later this year whether to recommend the vaccine for broader use, based on data emerging from the MVIP. The Gavi Board will then decide whether to finance a new malaria vaccination programme for countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
With these key decisions to come further down the line, and to address uncertainty about future demand, Gavi, GSK and MedAccess have developed an innovative financing solution to ensure continued manufacturing of the vaccine antigen, so that it will be immediately available should it receive the necessary approvals. Further information on the funding arrangement can be found here.
The arrangement will ensure that vaccine doses can be supplied rapidly after a potential WHO vaccine recommendation and Gavi financing decisions. This will help accelerate vaccine access, if a programme is approved, by avoiding the long production ramp-up phase that would occur otherwise.
A MedAccess analysis estimates that this continuous manufacture agreement could enable the vaccine to reach up to 7.5 million more children than would otherwise have been possible if there was a production delay.
“In 2020 we saw that risk-taking finance can accelerate the journey of new vaccines to market,” said Michael Anderson, CEO of MedAccess. “The same idea is at work in this agreement, where smart finance can unlock and secure access to an important product at faster pace. This unique partnership is a prime example of how science, public health expertise and innovative finance can combine to save lives.”
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For full details on the announcement, see the joint MedAccess, Gavi and GSK press release here.
In Africa and South Asia, it is a challenge for many people to get access to a dependable supply of effective medicines at an affordable price. That’s why, in November 2017, we established MedAccess, with an initial capital commitment of $200 million, to increase patient access to life-changing medical supplies. The company uses innovative finance tools, such as volume guarantees and procurement guarantees, to secure lower prices and sustainable supply of medical products.
Photo: A health worker screens children to determine if they are eligible for the malaria vaccine, Mkaka Primary School Outreach, Malawi (Credit: PATH).