First Human Study of Canadian-Made Ebola Vaccine to Start within a Few Weeks

By Branswell, Helen | The Canadian Press, August 28, 2014 | Go to article overview

First Human Study of Canadian-Made Ebola Vaccine to Start within a Few Weeks


Branswell, Helen, The Canadian Press


Human trial of Canadian Ebola vaccine soon

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TORONTO - The company that has licensed a Canadian-made Ebola vaccine says it hopes to start a Phase 1 trial on the serum within the next few weeks.

The safety data the trial produces could allow the World Health Organization to start using between 800 and 1,000 doses of the vaccine which Canada has donated for the Ebola outbreak response.

The vaccine was developed at the Public Health Agency of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg and the Public Health Agency owns the intellectual property.

It has been licensed to NewLink Genetics of Ames, Iowa.

The company's vice-president of business development says NewLink is finalizing the details to start the trial, which will involve injecting the vaccine into between 25 and 60 healthy volunteers.

The work will start in the United States, but Brian Wiley did not rule out the possibility that some of the work might be done in other countries as well.

"We are looking at options across the board but have not made any comment as to where those sites would be, whether they would be exclusively in the U.S. or outside the U.S.," Wiley said in an interview Thursday.

The vaccine will be one of two that will begin to be tested in humans as early as next month.

On Thursday, the U.S. National Institutes of Health announced that they will begin a Phase 1 trial next week on an Ebola vaccine designed by scientists at the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The NIH is also providing support for the testing of the Canadian-made vaccine, known as VSV-EBOV. At least one of the trial sites for the VSV-EBOV study will be the clinical trials centre of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Md., Wiley says.

The German Centre for Infection Research has approached the Public Health Agency with an offer to test the vaccine in a small clinical trial. A spokesperson for the agency says the offer has been redirected to the World Health Organization.

But Wiley says NewLink will oversee the first human study of this vaccine, the so-called first-in-man trial.

He can't estimate how quickly results might be forthcoming.

"Obviously the smoother it goes, the quicker we hope to get there," Wiley says. …

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