GSK Accelerates Ebola Vaccine Development

GSK's investigational Ebola vaccine is in Phase I safety trials.

GSK is working with the World Health Organization (WHO), regulators, and other partners to respond to the outbreak, to accelerate development of its investigational Ebola vaccine, and to ramp up production as quickly as possible. GSK acquired the Ebola vaccine candidate through the acquisition of a biotechnology company, Okairos, in May 2013 and has since been working with the National Institutes of Health to develop this vaccine candidate in response to the threat of Ebola.

Phase I safety trials of the vaccine candidate are underway in the US, UK, and Mali, and further trials are due to start in the coming weeks. Initial data from the phase I trials are expected by the end of the year and if successful, the next phases of the clinical trial program will begin in early 2015, which will involve the vaccination of thousands of frontline healthcare workers in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. "Beyond this, we are working with the WHO, regulators, and other stakeholders to determine how and when near-term supplies of the Ebola vaccine could be made available for targeted vaccination of additional healthcare workers and other people at high risk of infection in the affected countries, where the impact would be most likely to limit the further spread of the epidemic," said GSK in a press release. The company noted that it is working to accelerate the development of manufacturing at an industrial scale so that if the trials are successful, the company will be in a position to significantly ramp up production of the vaccine candidate to help combat this, or future, Ebola outbreaks.

Source: GSK