Ebola vaccine trials are a top priority for medical authorities

|By:, SA News Editor

Citing the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) desire to "move quickly" on validating an Ebola vaccine, NewLink Genetics (NLNK +11.8%) says it has enough doses of its vaccine candidate to launch a safety trial in 20 -100 healthy volunteers in a matter of weeks. CEO Dr. Charles Link says he has lined up two (possibly three) contract manufacturers that could produce tens of thousands of doses within a month or two.

NewLink subsidiary BioProtection Systems received $1M from DTRA to fund more pre-clinical toxicology studies and stepped-up manufacturing to allow human trials to start quickly.

Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (TKMR -9.2%) began a Phase 1 trial of TKM-Ebola in January of this year. It is the only product candidate to be tested on humans to date.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK +0.7%) awaits FDA approval to commence a safety trial for its Ebola vaccine candidate. The trial could start as early as September.

Mapp Biopharmaceutical's ZMapp Ebola vaccine was given to the two American medical workers who contracted the disease. Its supply is now exhausted.