Merck's Ebola vaccine candidate to be evaluated by WHO

Merck's Ebola vaccine candidate to be evaluated by WHO.

An Ebola virus vaccine candidate from Merck will be reviewed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

This vaccine will be evaluated under the emergency use assessment and listing (EUAL). The vaccine, V920, is designed for the Zaire variant of the Ebola virus and is a result of the work of the Public Health Agency of Canada. It was licensed to Merck in late 2014 to accelerate its development.

"This application to the WHO is an important step toward enabling V920 to be used if a public health emergency of international concern were to be declared for the Ebola Zaire species prior to licensure of the vaccine candidate," Dr. Paula Annunziato, Merck’s vice president for clinical research, said.

The WHO’s EUAL process is in place to allow vaccine candidates to be expedited in the review and approval process to meet global emergency medical needs. This designation does not count as pre-qualification for any vaccine candidate. Merck will continue its work in development, manufacturing, research and eventual distribution of the vaccine, if it is licensed for use.

There are currently clinical trials in the U.S., the European Union, Canada and Africa for this candidate.

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