Merck's Ebola vaccine, developed in tandem with NewLink, has protected 100% of patients from Ebola infection, according to interim results published in The Lancet on Friday.
In an effort to bridge the financial gap between early stage drug discovery work and late stage development, health officials this week called for the formation of a $2 billion fund to aid vaccine research against deadly diseases such as Ebola, MERS and West Nile virus.
Back in February, Novavax took its Ebola candidate to Australia for a Phase I trial. The company reported positive top-line results from the 230-person trial on Tuesday.
Although the waning Ebola outbreak had Big Pharmas struggling to find volunteers for their Ebola vaccine trials, two new Phase II trials are going forward. GlaxoSmithKline will take its candidate to Senegal, while Johnson & Johnson and partner Bavarian Nordic will test their vaccine in France and the U.K.
The race for an Ebola vaccine has slowed to a crawl as Big Pharmas GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Johnson & Johnson struggle to find volunteers who are exposed to enough disease to show whether experimental vaccines actually protect against Ebola infection.
In a big week for Ebola vaccines, Emergent Biosciences and GlaxoSmithKline have begun a Phase I trial of their candidates, while Bavarian Nordic received €50 million ($56 million) in loans from the European Investment Bank that go in part toward its programs in Ebola and infectious diseases.
In the latest development in the race for an Ebola vaccine, Merck and partner NewLink have taken their candidate to late-stage trials in Sierra Leone, the companies announced Tuesday.
Two Ebola vaccines, one developed by the NIH and GlaxoSmithKline and the other by Merck and NewLink, have sailed through Liberian trials and, based on the results, may now advance to Phase III trials.
Results from the Phase I trial of yet another experimental Ebola vaccine are in, but unlike other vaccines in the field, this one is based on the virus strain that caused the 2014 epidemic, and not an older one. The vaccine, developed by Beijing Institute of Biotechnology and Tianjin CanSino Biotechnology, is called a recombinant adenovirus type-5 vaccine.
The number of Ebola cases in West Africa has been declining, which has made it more difficult to enroll patients for clinical trials of leading vaccine candidates. And the way GlobalData analyst Daian Cheng sees it, that means it's time for vaccine manufacturers to "weigh the risks and benefits of developing further interventions for a disease that goes through unpredictable cycles of intense outbreaks followed by its virtual disappearance."