A clinical trial conducted with an experimental Ebola vaccine showed promising immune system responses from 20 healthy adults.
The trial, conducted in Bethesda, Md., was co-developed by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
Though still in early stages, the positive development is critical to helping countries that have been devastated by the Ebola virus, said NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“The unprecedented scale of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa has intensified efforts to develop safe and effective vaccines, which may play a role in bringing this epidemic to an end and undoubtedly will be critically important in preventing future large outbreaks,” Fauci said. “Based on these positive results from the first human trial of this candidate vaccine, we are continuing our accelerated plan for larger trials to determine if the vaccine is efficacious in preventing Ebola infection.”
Volunteers between the ages of 18 and 50 enrolled in the trial, and received an injection of the vaccine. Half of the participants received a lower dose, while the other half had a higher dose. After four weeks of injections all 20 volunteers showed anti-Ebola antibodies had developed in their blood.
While two people who received a higher dosage developed a fever within a day of getting the vaccination, no serious side effects were noticed in the volunteers taking the drug.