Via The Independent: Ebola outbreak: New vaccine trials to be fast-tracked in UK, USA and Africa. Excerpt:
A new Ebola vaccine aimed at preventing the disease that has claimed the lives of more than 1,200 people in West Africa is to be tested in fast-tracked safety trials in the United Kingdom, Africa and the United States.
Codeveloped by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States and the pharmaceutical multinational GlaxoSmithKline, human trials of the vaccine will be accelerated due to the current epidemic, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently identified as a public health emergency of “international concern”.
If ethical and regulatory approval is given, the UK research teams involved in the international consortium conducting the trial could begin their work within the next few weeks. Volunteers in the UK could be given the candidate vaccine as early as mid-September.
A £2.8 million grant from the Wellcome Trust, the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Medical Research Council will allow a team from the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford to start the vaccine tests. Parallel trials will also start in the US.
The Oxford team will be led by Professor Adrian Hill. He said: “the tragic events unfolding in Africa demand an urgent response. In recent years, similar investigational vaccines have safely immunised infants and adults against a range of diseases including malaria, HIV and Hepatitis C. We, and all our partners on this project, are optimistic that this candidate vaccine may prove useful against Ebola.”
In Africa, vaccine trials will be conducted by the MRC in the Gambia. Trials will also take place in neighbouring Mali.
For more on this development, see this news release from NIH.