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WHO agrees to fast-track development of experimental Ebola vaccines

04/09/14 19:03 CET

The World Health Organisation has fast-tracked the development of eight treatments and two vaccines to counter the Ebola virus.

Experts have gathered in Geneva to discuss the new drugs. The meeting follows a recent decision by the WHO to allow the use of experimental pharmaceutical products in the current Ebola epidemic, given its high death toll.

As such, some companies, such as NewLink Genetics Corp, have been given the go-ahead to begin initial testing of the vaccines on humans.

Charles Link Jr, Chairman and CEO of NewLink Genetics, explained the process.

“The clinical trials, as you know, do take some time. I think that everybody is trying as hard and furiously as possible to move those trials forward as rapidly as possible within the regulatory, scientific and ethical constraints, because many of these vaccines are first in human studies,” he said.

The race is on to develop new drugs and vaccines. Recent figures put the death toll from Ebola at over 1,900; a figure exceeding the total number of deaths recorded from every other known outbreak of the virus.

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