Ebola vaccine trials being fast-tracked: researchers (Update)

August 28, 2014

Safety trials on an Ebola vaccine are being fast-tracked, meaning it could be given to healthy volunteers as early as September, researchers said Thursday.

The vaccine will be given to volunteers in Britain, the Gambia and Mali in a bid to tackle the spread of an epidemic which has spread across west Africa, killing 1,552 so far.

Researchers hope the trials could finish by the end of 2014.

If they are successful, the vaccine could then be given to people infected with Ebola, which is spread through bodily fluids.

The move was announced by pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline—which is developing the vaccine with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH)—and London-based medical charity Wellcome Trust, which is contributing to a grant to pay for the trials.

"A candidate Ebola vaccine could be given to healthy volunteers in the UK, the Gambia and Mali as early as September, as part of a series of safety trials of potential vaccines," the statement said.

A total of 3,062 cases have so far been reported but the World Health Organization warned Thursday that the caseload could eventually exceed 20,000.

The trials, which still need ethical and regulatory approval, will be funded by a £2.8 million (3.5 million euro, $4.6 million) grant from the Wellcome Trust, Britain's Medical Research Council (MRC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

The Oxford study will involve 60 healthy volunteers, while those in the Gambia and Mali will each involve 40.

This will also allow GSK to make some 10,000 extra doses of the vaccine so that if the trials are successful, it could be made available to the WHO quickly.

Safety tests of the vaccine will take place at Oxford University alongside a US trial run by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Explore further: NIH's Fauci says vaccine for Ebola not far away

Related Stories

NIH's Fauci says vaccine for Ebola not far away

August 4, 2014
The nation's top infectious disease official says there's hope that a vaccine against Ebola will be available as early as next July.

Scientists racing to test Ebola vaccines in humans

August 14, 2014
Scientists are racing to begin the first human safety tests of two experimental Ebola vaccines, but it won't be easy to prove that the shots and other potential treatments in the pipeline really work.

NewLink Genetics: Ready to test Ebola vaccine (Update 3)

August 14, 2014
An Iowa drug developer is preparing to test a possible Ebola vaccine in humans, as scientists race to develop ways to prevent or fight a virus that has killed more than 1,000 people in a West African outbreak.

Possible Ebola patient in Canada tests negative (Update)

August 23, 2014
A patient who recently returned from West Africa suspected of being infected with Ebola was isolated in a Canadian hospital but tested negative for the disease, the hospital said Saturday.

'Realistic' to expect Ebola vaccine by 2015: WHO (Update)

August 9, 2014
Clinical trials of vaccines for the deadly Ebola virus should soon get underway and will likely be ready for widespread use by early next year, the World Health Organization said Saturday.

WHO calls ethics meeting over experimental Ebola drug

August 6, 2014
The World Health Organization said on Wednesday it was convening an ethics meeting next week to explore the use of experimental treatment in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Recommended for you

New test differentiates between Lyme disease, similar illness

August 16, 2017
Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. But it can be confused with similar conditions, including Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness. A team of researchers led by Colorado ...

Addressing superbug resistance with phage therapy

August 16, 2017
International research involving a Monash biologist shows that bacteriophage therapy – a process whereby bacterial viruses attack and destroy specific strains of bacteria - can be used successfully to treat systemic, multidrug ...

Can previous exposure to west Nile alter the course of Zika?

August 15, 2017
West Nile virus is no stranger to the U.S.-Mexico border; thousands of people in the region have contracted the mosquito-borne virus in the past. But could this previous exposure affect how intensely Zika sickens someone ...

Compounds in desert creosote bush could treat giardia and 'brain-eating' amoeba infections

August 15, 2017
Researchers at Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of California San Diego and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have found that compounds produced by the creosote bush, a ...

New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes

August 11, 2017
Left untreated, malaria can progress from being mild to severe—and potentially fatal—in 24 hours. So researchers at the University of British Columbia developed a method to quickly and sensitively assess the progression ...

Drug trial shows promise for deadly neurological disorder

August 10, 2017
Results of a small clinical trial show promise for treating a rare neurodegenerative condition that typically kills those afflicted before they reach age 20. The disease, called Niemann-Pick type C (NPC), causes cholesterol ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.