Testing Of Ebola Vaccine On Humans To Start September

Safety testing of Ebola vaccine will start in the US next week upon approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and testing on volunteers in the UK – from September. If proves successful, the study will continue in Gambia and Mali, The Guardian reports. The plan of testing has been fast-tracked due to the dramatic increase of Ebola cases, with more than 1,500 people dead since the outbreak. The development of the experimental drug is carried out by the British multinational pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) together with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the funding comes from an international consortium. While the normal period of development corresponds 10 years, the GSK plan to finish all the trials by the end of 2014. Also the developers plan already to start producing up to 10,000 doses of the vaccine to be able to deliver the drug to the World Health Organization (WHO) as soon as possible, if it proves effective. Provided that all the necessary regulations are met, vaccination of healthy volunteers in the UK will start in the middle of September. The experiments on humans will provide for several groups of people, with different doses of the vaccine for each group. Lab testing on primates showed promising results, thus experts expect good response from humans, without significant adverse effects. It would be recalled that ZMapp, the only experimental drug believed to be effective in treating Ebola, has been recently introduced by the US in the course of this year’s most unprecedented outbreak of the virus. It allegedly saved the lives of 2 Americans who worked in Liberia, the country most affected by the tropical disease . However the effectiveness was put under question after the Liberian doctor Borbor despite receiving ZMapp died. The first British Ebola victim William Pooley who had volunteered as a nurse in Liberia was flown to London for treatment and received ZMapp. He is currently fighting the deadly disease at the Royal Free Hospital. Meanwhile in the unfortunate development Nigerian health officials, who 2 days ago spoke about the last Ebola victim left in the country, today confirmed the EVD death in Port Harcourt, Rivers State . Thus, it is the first time the disease “left” Lagos. Seventy more people were put under surveillance to avoid virus further spread.

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