The world's first malaria vaccine got a green light on Friday from European drugs regulators who recommended it as safe and effective. The World Health Organisation will begin a review of the drug in October. As Ciara Lee reports, it comes at the end of a busy week for pharmaceutical breakthroughs.
It kills one child almost every minute in sub-Saharan Africa, but drugs firm GlaxoSmithKline is stepping up its fight against malaria. It's been given the green light from European regulators for the world's first malaria vaccine - which could help prevent millions of deaths. Brenda Kelly from London Capital Group. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD ANALYST AT LONDON CAPITAL GROUP, BRENDA KELLY, SAYING: "This is something that has been worked on for quite a period of time and I would imagine it will be quite a big success for GSK globally, but when the patent wears off it will also continue to reach new highs." It comes at the end of a busy week for the pharmaceutical industry. Amgen's cholesterol fighting drug was approved by the European Commission. It gets a head start over a rival drug being developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi. Eli Lilly made headlines around the world with its new drug which reportedly slows mild cases of Alzheimers. Some hail the string of successes as a revival for the pharma industry. JP Morgan Asset Management's David Stubbs says it is still an attractive sector for investors. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVID STUBBS, GLOBAL MACRO STRATEGIST AT J.P. MORGAN ASSET MANAGEMENT, SAYING: "Their revenue is often supported by patents and the profit margins are significant and more than make up for the expensive research costs that go into these things. I still think it is a long term hold for most equity investors." The optimism has been mirrored in the S&P pharmaceuticals index which has risen nearly 40 percent over the past year.