Ebola Vaccine Trials to Begin in Weeks

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plan to start testing Ebola vaccines through clinical trials in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said the Liberia trial, which aims to test two different kinds of Ebola vaccines in three phases, could begin in the next couple of weeks.

“We were expecting to start by the last week in January, but there are some details that need to be ironed out regarding the FDA,” he said. “None are show stoppers, but things we need to attend to in protocol. We should be able to iron that out by the end of January.”

Two noninfectious vaccines are being tested — one developed by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline and the other by NewLink Genetics Corp. The rights to the vaccine were later purchased by Merck & Co. Inc. A total of 27,000 people are expected to participate in the trial, which will take about a year to complete.