British drugmaker and researcher GlaxoSmithKline has revealed that the human trials on the deadly Ebola fighting vaccine is set to enter human trials phase later this year. This could prove a boon to the West African region where the treatment less epidemic has already claimed over thousand lives, prompting the WHO to declare international health emergency that needs concerted efforts between world nations for any results.
The vaccine under development has given promising results in trials on primates leading to the present human trails phase. “It is right at the beginning of the development journey and still has a very long way to go,” a GSK official said, adding that the trials could begin this fall. GSK’s USA partner – the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has also confirmed the schedule in another statement.
GSK did not develop this drug by itself, but acquired it by buying up Swiss-based biotech company Okairos for 250 million euros ($335 million) last year. The present vaccine model does not actually have any Ebola virus genes in itself, but is based on a chimpanzee adenovirus into which two Ebola genes have been inserted.
Another drugmaker, Johnson & Johnson is also conducting trials on developing a vaccine on a different strain of Ebola.