Ebola vaccine to trial next month, may be ready by 2015

Paris - Clinical trials of a preventative vaccine for the Ebola virus made by British pharma company GlaxoSmithKline may begin next month and made available by 2015, the World Health Organisation said on Saturday.

"We are targeting September for the start of clinical trials, first in the United States and certainly in African countries, since that's where we have the cases," Jean-Marie Okwo Bele, the WHO's head of vaccines and immunisation, told French radio.

He said he was optimistic about making the vaccine commercially available. "We think that if we start in September, we could already have results by the end of the year.

"And since this is an emergency, we can put emergency procedures in place ... so that we can have a vaccine available by 2015."

There is currently no available cure or vaccine for Ebola, a virus that causes severe fever and, in the worst cases, unstoppable bleeding.

It has claimed close to 1 000 lives in the latest epidemic to spread across west Africa this year. Fatality rates can approach 90%, although the latest outbreak has killed around 55 to 60% of those infected.

Several vaccines are being tested, and a treatment made by San Diego-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical, ZMapp, has shown promising results on monkeys and may have been effective in treating two Americans recently infected in Africa.

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Victor Ndabenhle Mkhaliphi 2014-08-09 08:00:44 PM
"Trials first in the US, Then Africa" I wonder by the time the trials get to West Africa how many lives would be lost.
Bruwer 2014-08-09 08:31:43 PM
Wonder how much mercury and aluminium is in this one
Ephesians Philippians 2014-08-09 08:52:34 PM
Don't tell me about fundings, protocol and other things. Why can't these people who are infected be given whatever it is that's helping the doctor from the use recover? How will a vaccine help combat the Virus when it's already spreading rapidly. How about we first help those infected to reduce the spread?
Jacque Montague Raymer 2014-08-10 04:15:17 AM
Makes you wonder if they did not release the virus in first place to get the funding and go ahead for the vaccine... instead of the normal 5 year delay they will now have money in their pockets by next year.
Jannie du Toit 2014-08-10 08:38:34 AM
Send some of those bodies to Gaza
Grant Durban 2014-08-10 08:19:38 PM
Victor, nothing is stopping Africa developing it's own vaccine!