Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Ebola virus | vaccines | trials | NIH | rush

Second Ebola Vaccine Enters Human Trials at NIH

By    |   Wednesday, 22 October 2014 04:30 PM

A second vaccine that could protect against the deadly Ebola virus is entering human trials at the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense.

The vaccine, called VSV-ZEBOV, developed by the Canadian public health agency, will be administered in two intramuscular doses by the NIH and a single intramuscular dose by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in an attempt to discover whether the vaccine can be administered safely and will provide effective immunization against the Ebola virus, The Hill reports.

Another set of human trials on a different vaccine, termed cAd3-ZEBOV, developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), began on Sept. 14 and initial results are anticipated by the end of this year, Medical Express reports.

The tests on VSV-ZEBOV will enroll 39 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 65, in which all but nine will receive the new vaccine in two sessions 28 days apart, while the others will receive placebo injections, Medical Express states.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID, commented, "The need for a vaccine to protect against Ebola infection is urgent. NIH welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with the U.S. Department of Defense to conduct human clinical tests of another promising, and hopefully, successful, Ebola vaccine candidate."

In a report on the studies, the World Health Organization stated, "The ambition: to accomplish, within a matter of months, work that normally takes from two to four years, without compromising international standards for safety and efficacy.

"In other words: to give the African people and their health authorities the best product that the world’s scientists, working collectively, have to offer."

"We are pleased to recognize the extraordinary work of our partners to move the VSV-ZEBOV vaccine candidate from preclinical development to clinical testing in a matter of weeks rather than years," Dr. Charles Link, chief scientific officer and CEO of NewLink Genetics, which holds the U.S. license for the new vaccine, told Medical Express.

"This level of support has been and will continue to be a critical asset in the ongoing process of evaluating and potentially bringing this investigational product to broader use in the fight against Ebola virus."

WHO notes that one major challenge is that both vaccines must be kept at a temperature of  minus-112 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-80 Celsius) in tropical countries.

While the need for an Ebola vaccine is urgent, Fauci cautioned, "The worst thing in the world you could do is to let something widely out before you have tested it safety. That would violate scientific and ethical principles."

WHO commented, "For some months to come, the critical limiting factor is extremely restricted vaccine supply."

But he added, "Both companies are working to augment their manufacturing capacity. The goal is a very significant increase in scale during the first half of 2015."

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A second vaccine that could protect against the deadly Ebola virus is entering human trials at the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense.
Ebola virus, vaccines, trials, NIH, rush
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 04:30 PM
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