"I have never seen a health event threaten the very survival of societies and governments," said WHO chief Margaret Chan in a statement delivered on her behalf at a Manila conference.
"On September 29 and 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss efforts to rapidly produce an Ebola vaccine. Participants acknowledged that the earliest a vaccine could be made available in substantial quantities would be the first quarter of 2015.
The meeting included 70 scientists and public health officials, as well as representatives from industry and regulatory bodies, report Rupa Kanapathipillai, MD, and colleagues, in a commentary published online October 7 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Dr. Kanapathipillai, an editorial fellow at the journal, and colleagues note that the discussion centered on two vaccine candidates: cAD3_EBOV (cAd3) from GlaxoSmithKline and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and rVSVΔG-EBOV-GP (rVSV) from NewLink Genetics and the Public Health Agency of Canada. The cAd3 vaccine exists in bivalent and monovalent forms, both of which will be tested. Although several other vaccine candidates are at the preclinical stages of the development pipeline, cAd3 and rVSV are in phase 1 trials.
Studies in nonhuman primates have demonstrated 100% efficacy for both vaccine candidates. The phase 1 trial will determine their effects in humans. The trials will be relatively small and therefore only powered to identify common adverse events."