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EU boost for GSK's Ebola vaccine research

And EMA says it' poised to assess possible vaccines or treatments
World Health Organisation ebola

A large-scale clinical trial of GlaxoSmithKline's vaccine candidate is one of five Ebola projects to share in new research funding from the European Commission.

The trial will assess the safety of GSK's ChAd3-EBOV and its ability to elicit a protective immune response – along with the most appropriate vaccination schedule.

The company will receive €15.2m from the €24.4m set aside by the EC from the EU budget, with the reminder shared between projects that include testing existing and novel compounds to treat Ebola.

The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso said: "We're in a race against time on Ebola, and we must address both the emergency situation and at the same time have a long term response.

“I am therefore happy to announce that additional funding of €24.4m will be made available which will speed up some of the most promising research to develop vaccines and treatments."

The funding for the projects - detailed below - comes from the EU's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and will be provided via a fast-track procedure in order to start work as soon as possible.

Project
Coordinator
Scope
Funding (€m)
EbolaVac
GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals
Conduct clinical trials in Europe and Africa on vaccine candidate ChAd3-EBOV
15.1
Ebola_Tx
Prins Leopold Instituut voor Trophische GeneekundeStudy the safety, efficacy and practical aspects of using whole blood or plasma from survivors as an Ebola treatment
2.9
REACTIONInstitut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale
Study the safety and efficacy of flu antiviral favipiravir2.6
IF-EBOLA
Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement
Study the safety and efficacy of using antibodies produced in horses again Ebola2
EVIDENTBerhard-Nocht-Institut fuer TropenmedizinResearch on interactions between the Ebola virus and the host1.8

The Commission has also asked the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) to include emerging epidemics of concern to Africa, including Ebola, in its work plan. This will allow EDCTP, which has been running since 2003, to fund clinical trials on drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for the viral disease.

This week has already seen new efforts to help combat Ebola, with J&J signaling its intention to produce more than one million doses of its investigational vaccine by 2015.

Meanwhile, the EMA confirmed that Ebola research would be inline to receive orphan drug benefits in a move it hopes will encourage more companies to focus on the area.

The European regulator yesterday said it was ready to start assessing Ebola vaccines and treatments as soon as data is available and would provide rapid scientific advice to speed up their development.

Article by
Dominic Tyer

24th October 2014

From: Research

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