Scientists at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany, are together with their partner institute CERMEL in Lambaréné, Gabon conducting a clinical trial to test an Canadian Ebola vaccine. A consortium of experts, including scientists from both institutes, was convened by the WHO in August to discuss solutions and strategies for combating the current Ebola crisis.
Of interest at this consortium was one of two forerunning Ebola vaccine candidates which have shown significant promise in animal studies, but have not yet been approved for use in humans.
The candidate VSVΔG-ZEBOV, developed in Canada and produced by the American firm NewLink Genetics is based upon an attenuated Vesicular Stomatitis Virus which has had a single gene from the Zaire Ebola virus inserted. 800 ampules of the vaccine are now provided to the WHO for the clinical trial.
Data from animal studies to date show that animals vaccinated with VSVΔG-ZEBOV are protected against infection with Ebola. Following this success, further studies in humans are warranted to establish a dosage which is safe and well tolerated, whilst simultaneously assessing immunogenicity.
This research will be conducted in institutions across the USA, Europe and Africa and the findings of the phase I study (n=60) in Gabon will be particularly interesting.
They will provide information about how well the vaccine is tolerated by people in the African population; vital for quick distribution of the vaccine in West Africa once a safe and effective dose has been established.
Coordinating doctor of the study Professor Peter Kremsner from the University Hospital in Tübingen is working towards vaccination of the first volunteer in Gabon at the beginning of November.
The first data are projected to be available in just a few weeks after the first vaccination, enabling a decision to be made about whether the vaccine can be introduced into affected West African communities and in which dose.
Medizinische Klinik, Institut für Tropenmedizin
Prof. Dr. Peter Kremsner
Wilhelmstr. 27, 72076 Tübingen
Tel. +49 7071/29-8 71 89, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Ellen Katz | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
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