NEW YORK – The World Health Organization announced today from Geneva it is ready to begin implementing the initial phase of testing new Ebola medical therapies and experimental vaccines.
Health facilities are being set up now in Liberia to take blood serum from Ebola survivors for transfusions in the treatment of infected patients. Facilities in Sierra Leone and Guinea will soon follow.
WHO also announced the French government is ready to begin in Guinea clinical trials of a Japanese-developed Ebola vaccine called Favipiravi. Known as T-705, it is marketed by Toyama Chemical under the trade name Avigan.
WHO also announced human Phase 1 clinical trials of two experimental Ebola vaccines are expected to begin by the end of October or the beginning of November.
WHO is ready to test on humans the two frontrunner experimental vaccines it approved in a conference in Geneva Sept. 4-5 with nearly 200 medical doctors and experts invited from around the world.
One of the vaccines, cAd3-ZEBOV, has been developed by GlaxoSmithKline in collaboration with the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. It uses a chimpanzee-derived adenovirus vector with an Ebola virus gene inserted.
The second, rVSV-ZEBOV. was developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada in Winnipeg. The license for commercialization of the Canadian vaccine is held by an American company, NewLink Genetics, located in Ames, Iowa. The vaccine uses an attenuated or weakened vesicular stomatitis virus, a pathogen found in livestock. One of its genes is replaced by an Ebola virus gene.
Written by JEROME R. CORSI
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