WASHINGTON, Aug. 28 (UPI) — As the worsening Ebola epidemic in West Africa claims additional lives each day, world leaders are urgently looking for any sort of medical breakthrough that might reverse the tides and curb the virus’ spread. The National Institute of Health will do its part by fast-tracking the first two of several Ebola vaccine candidates for safety trials.
The tests will be headed by the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and will take place at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
The first trials will test the safety of two vaccine candidates — the NIAID/GSK vaccine, co-developed by NIAID and drug company GlaxoSmithKline, as well as an experimental Ebola vaccine developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada in cooperation with NewLink Genetics Corp. The two Phase 1 trials will see the vaccines tested on a small number of healthy adults. The trials will look for adverse side effects and measure the autoimmune responses elicited in the participants by the vaccines.