American Pharmaceutical Company Could Soon Be Carrying Out Human Trials For Its Ebola Vaccine Candidate
NewLink Genetics, an American pharmaceutical company based in Ames, Iowa will be continuing work on an Ebola vaccine candidate that has already been proven to be effective in primates.
Although the company usually focuses on cancer research, it announced that the the United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency has granted them a contract to bring the Ebola vaccine closer to human clinical trials.
In the wake of the recent ebola outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, which has claimed at least 932 lives, there has been a surge of pharmaceutical companies and researchers claiming to be close to developing an effective vaccine for ebola.
The letter of contract granted by the US government will accelerate the development of the vaccine. Gordon Link, the CFO of the company, has said ‘there’s a crying need for effective vaccines and there’s a lot of pressure at the government level, so the federal government cam to us and said we’re aware of your vaccine…please get working on this because we need to get it into human clinical trials so we can make it available to the health care workers and the general population when they’re infected with this terrible disease’
NewLink has stated that it believes its own vaccine is further along in development compared to any other ebola vaccine in development at the moment.
The vaccine has shown some effectiveness post exposure, however it is primarily used as a preventative vaccine.
NewLink admitted that it has used the vaccine on a human in a compassionate basis. Although they were not sure if the patient had ebola, he did not develop the virus after the vaccine was administered.
Link has said that once the vacccine reaches human clinical trial stage, they will most likely be carried out at a federal facility.
Two Americans are known to have contracted the virus while doing missionary work in Liberia last month. The two workers, one male and one female, are now being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
Only time will tell if the vaccine is safe and effective once it reaches human clinical trials soon.
Read more about it here: US-based company to work on Ebola vaccine