Mymetics, who acquired the trial vaccine from Swiss research and development company Pevion Biotech, said it had carried out clinical trials on humans in Britain and Switzerland.
Studies on Tanzanian children and teenagers in areas where malaria is prevalent are also underway, Mymetics said.
It added that further experiments on substances which create antibodies that resist the infection were also in the pipeline. It could take up to three years to complete clinical trials, which would set a timetable of roughly six years for the vaccination to obtain full approval, Mymetics chief executive Christain Rochet added.
Possible HIV/Aids vaccine also being tested
"There is a pressing need for a vaccine against malaria," he said. "Up to 500 million people a year are infected, with a mortality rate of approximately two million each year."
Malaria is a deadly parasitic infection passed on from infected mosquitoes to humans, and strikes mainly in tropical and sub-tropical environments.
Mymetics said it is also testing a possible vaccine against the HIV-Aids virus and tests will start later this year on 33 women in Belgium.
It said it would not market the vaccines, but would seek to sell them to a major pharmaceutical group. - (Sapa, May 2008)