GSK Provides Update on Elbola Vaccine Candidate

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) provided an update of its plans to accelerate development of its investigational Ebola vaccine and to ramp up production. The company said that the development of the vaccine candidate is progressing, with first Phase I safety trials of the vaccine candidate underway in the US, UK, and Mali.

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. The intent is to vaccinate thousands of frontline healthcare workers in three affected countries: Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. If the vaccine candidate is able to protect these healthcare workers as the company hopes, the company said the vaccine could significantly contribute to efforts to bring the Ebola epidemic under control.

Additional, GSK said that it was working with the World Health Organization, 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. Its future use in mass vaccination campaigns will depend on whether the vaccine candidate provides protection against Ebola without causing significant side effects and how quickly large enough quantities can be made.

“We are actively exploring with relevant organizations and partners all opportunities to accelerate the development of manufacturing at an industrial scale so that if the trials are successful, we will be in a position to significantly ramp up production of the vaccine candidate to help combat this or future Ebola outbreaks,” said GSK in a company statement.

GSK acquired this Ebola vaccine candidate through the acquisition of a biotechnology company, Okairos, in May 2013 and has since been working with the US National Institutes of Health to develop this vaccine candidate in response to the threat of Ebola.

Source: GlaxoSmithKline

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