News / Health

    Human Ebola Vaccine Trials to Begin

    Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Weeki
    X
    August 29, 2014 2:18 AM
    The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Watch related video report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke.
    Joe DeCapua

    U.S. health officials announced Thursday the launch of the first human testing of a vaccine to prevent Ebola. The vaccine candidate was co-developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - and the pharmaceutical company GSK (GlaxoSmithKline).

    Dr. Anthony Fauci says vaccine research has accelerated since the Ebola epidemic was first reported in West Africa last March.

    "We are announcing the opening of a small human safety study of an investigational Ebola vaccine candidate that will be tested here at the NIH," he said. "This is the first of several Phase One clinical trials of Ebola vaccine candidates that we are set to launch."

    Fauci is the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. He describes the West Africa Ebola outbreak as a “public health emergency that demands an all hands on deck response.”

    "We have accelerated the time line for testing experimental Ebola vaccines that we have been developing for several years," he said. "And after an expedited review of the candidate product and clinical trial design by the United States Food and Drug Administration we have the green light to begin."

    He says the trials will be based on three earlier versions of Ebola vaccine candidates. Those trials led to the vaccine that is now being studied. Next week, the first three volunteers will be enrolled in a study known as VRC207.

    "The trial aims to enroll 20 healthy adults - ages 18 to 50 years - at the NIH Clinical Research Center here in Bethesda, Maryland," he said. "The study will evaluate the experimental vaccine’s safety and whether it generates an immune response in healthy adults that - based on our animal studies - could predict effectiveness in preventing the acquisition of Ebola infection."

    Fauci says earlier studies of the experimental vaccine performed extremely well in protecting primates from Ebola infection.  The current vaccine candidate uses a chimpanzee cold virus. The virus carries a gene related to the surface protein of the Zaire and Sudan strains of the Ebola virus. The Zaire strain is blamed for the West Africa epidemic.

    "It is important to know that the Ebola gene contained in the investigational vaccine cannot cause a vaccinated individual to become infected with Ebola," he said. "The volunteers in the VRC207 trial will be divided into two groups to test first a lower and then a higher does of the vaccine.

    The vaccine will be administered through an injection in the arm. The trial is scheduled to last 48 weeks, but initial findings could be available by the end of this year.  

    In October, a second trial will begin in the U.S., Britain, Mali and The Gambia to test a vaccine candidate that contains genetic material from only one of the Ebola strains.

    Fauci says despite the vaccine research, precaution and prevention are the best defense right now against the disease.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.