Ebola vaccines from Canada and UK to be tested on humans

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Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, an Assistant Director General for the World Health Organization. Credit: WHO)

Two experimental Ebola vaccines are the "front runners" in the race to stop the transmission of the virus, a senior UN official has confirmed.

The first vaccine was developed by the British company GlaxoSmithKline, and the other one by the Government of Canada.

Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, an Assistant Director-General for the World Health Organization (WHO) said the clinical trials involve 250 volunteers.

Half of them will be tested in November in Lausanne, Switzerland. Meanwhile, trials are underway in the US, Oxford and Mali.

The vaccines are expected to be used in West Africa in early January, according to Dr Kieny.

"The one developed by GlaxoSmithKine, this vaccine is called ChimpAd3, so it is based on the backbone if I may say of an Adenovirus which normally infects the chimpanzee. It expresses one Ebola protein so of course although it is a live vaccine, it cannot transmit Ebola. There is no genetic material of Ebola apart from the gene coming from a single protein. The second front runner, if I may say, is the one that was developed by the public health agency of Canada whose licence has been passed to a company called NewLink in the US."  (35″)

In August this year, Canada donated 800 vials of the drug to WHO.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration:  1’22″



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