Canadian doctors recently announced they are preparing to conduct human clinical trials on a new vaccine against the Ebola virus.
Researchers from Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory said they will hold talks with Health Canada next month about conducting human studies on a vaccine that has been shown to cure animal subjects within 24 hours after exposure, according to TheGlobeandMail.com.
“Ebola is still the most dangerous and virulent infectious agent out there,” Dr. Kobinger, the project’s leader, said, TheGlobeandMail.com reports. “You take the biggest and the toughest and you try to bring it down, with the rationale that if it works against Ebola, it’ll work against other things.”
Kobinger grew up in Quebec City in the early 1990s and vividly remembers being inspired by the beginnings of the fight against HIV/AIDS. He has been chasing vaccines ever since.
“In my mind, as a teenager, this was unacceptable,” Kobinger said, according to TheGlobeandMail.com. “So I decided this was where I would put my energy.”
Dr. Gary Nabel, the director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s vaccine research center, said he is somewhat skeptical of the claims behind the Canadian vaccine, but said it is critical to find an effective treatment for the virus.
“This is high on the radar screen for bio-defense. It’s transmitted human-to-human; it’s high-mortality; it’s been weaponized,” Nabel said, TheGlobeandMail.com reports. “It’s the threat that it could pose if it got into the wrong place that is the concern.”