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India to test malaria vaccine, review drug policy

India is likely to begin phase one trial of a malaria vaccine in 2007 after conducting animal safety trials next year even as the malaria drug policy is being reviewed to guard against the parasite's drug resistance.

The sites for vaccine trials are being prepared in Orissa and Madhya Pradesh, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said in a,

message on Friday to the International Conference on Malaria being held. Organised jointly by the Malaria Research Centre and the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, the conference marks the discovery of the malaria parasite 125 years ago.

The peptide vaccine prepared by International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) "will be first tried on animals before the human trial begins in 2007," said AP Dash, director of Malaria Research Centre. The centre was renamed Friday as the National Institute of Malaria.