European scientists work on third possible Ebola vaccine

Thu, 04.09.2014 16:12

KYIV/Ukraine in Arabic/ Researchers have scheduled human tests on a third possible Ebola vaccine in response to the U.N.'s call to fast-track treatments for the worst known outbreak of the deadly virus in human history.

Johnson & Johnson said in a statement early Thursday it would begin human trials early next year of a vaccine derived from technologies created by Crucell N.V. of the Netherlands and the Danish biotech company Bavarian Nordic. "In light of the current emergency in West Africa and given the evident, huge unmet medical need, we are stepping up our efforts and accelerating the Ebola program," said Johan Van Hoof, global head of infectious disease and vaccine programs for Crucell.

The race to develop new drugs has been spurred by a World Health Organization ruling that it is ethical to use experimental products, given this epidemic’s high death toll.

“This Ebola epidemic is the largest and most severe and most complex we have ever seen in the nearly 40 year history of this disease,” Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), told reporters at a Washington news conference.

“No-one, even outbreak responders with experience dating back to 1976, to 1995, people that were directly involved with those outbreaks, none of them have ever seen anything like it.”

Ebola has claimed more than 1,900 lives in West Africa since March.

The WHO has invited experts to Geneva on Thursday to discuss experimental treatments and vaccines and how testing can be fast-tracked to help those in need.


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