British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has developed the world's first anti-malaria vaccine, designed for use on children in Africa.
If GSK acquires the regulatory approval it is currently seeking, it will mark a big step forward in the fight against the mosquito-borne parasitic disease, which currently kills over 600,000 people a year.
Most of its victims are babies and young children in the most deprived part of sub-Saharan Africa.
"An effective vaccine for use alongside other measures such as bed nets and anti-malarial medicines would represent an advance in malaria control," GSK said in a statement.
Called RTS,S, the vaccine shot has been developed exclusively for use outside of the European Union. It will be evaluated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
As long as EMA drugs regulators back the license application, WHO has indicated that it may recommend the use of RTS,S from as early as 2015.