Via BBC News: Commercial ebola vaccine 'unlikely' say researchers. Excerpt:
Scientists researching the lethal ebola virus have told the BBC that a commercial vaccine to prevent the onset of infection may never be developed.
Two companies with leading vaccine candidates have had their funding from the Pentagon suspended in recent weeks.
An expert said it was now "unlikely" a prophylactic vaccine would ever be used to prevent outbreaks of the disease. Ebola is often described as the most frightening disease on Earth.
The virus causes a severe haemorrhagic fever, where victims bleed both internally and externally.
The virus attacks white blood cells and blood vessels, causing a rash, red eyes, severe abdominal pain and vomiting.
In recent weeks, an outbreak in western Uganda claimed the lives of at least sixteen people. There is no specific treatment and the virus can kill up to 90% of those who become infected.
Efforts to develop a vaccine have been funded in the main by the US Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health. They have poured millions of dollars into scientific research because of concerns that the virus could be turned into a biological weapon.
As a result of this funding, several vaccine candidates have been developed and have shown themselves effective in animal trials.
Two companies, Sarepta and Tekmira have begun human safety trials of their vaccines.
But in recent days, both companies have been told by the Defense Department to temporarily stop work on their vaccines due to funding constraints. It is expected that a decision to either resume testing or completely terminate the contracts will be made by early September.
Scientists say their understanding of the nature of the virus has markedly improved over the past decade. But the chances of turning that knowledge into a vaccine are very dependent on money.