U.S. researchers hopeful of ending Ebola vaccine clinical tests in 6-12 months

The Galveston National Laboratory based in Texas, the U.S., has finished pre-clinical tests of an aerosol vaccine against the Ebola virus, project supervisor, University of Texas Professor Alexander Bukreyev said at a scientific conference near Novosibirsk.

The Galveston National Laboratory based in Texas, the U.S., has finished pre-clinical tests of an aerosol vaccine against the Ebola virus, project supervisor, University of Texas Professor Alexander Bukreyev said at a scientific conference near Novosibirsk.

He said the U.S. authorities had assigned $1 million for the first stage of the vaccine's clinical tests his laboratory might carry out within a brief period of time.

"The rules are loosened up a bit considering the circumstances, and we can make rapider progress. It is hard to tell, [the tests may be over] in six to twelve months," he said.

Significant progress has been made in the development of the Ebola vaccine, mostly in the United States and Canada, and five or six experimental vaccines have been created, he said.

"We have curative antibodies already and a fantastic breakthrough has been made in the past three years," the expert said.

He said the vaccine created in his laboratory was based on a genetically modified para-influenza virus with inbuilt Ebola virus envelope proteins.

The Ebola virus envelope elicits an immune response of the organism but some other genes suppress it, he said.

"The developed recombinant virus produces the Ebola virus envelope and an organism, the immune system of the animal or the person, produces antibodies to deal with the Ebola virus envelope which will eventually protect the organism from the Ebola virus itself," the expert continued.

Bukreyev said the laboratory was trying to adjust the vaccine to all types of the Ebola virus.

In his opinion, the Ebola virus does not have a pandemic potential and it does not undergo a genetic change as rapidly and forcefully as the hepatitis C virus or some others.

"Each outbreak has little differences but these are not drastically different viruses," he said.

The Ebola virus has claimed over 3,000 lives in a number of West African countries, primarily Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

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