Vaccine companies are actively working on the development of effective prophylactic vaccines capable of preventing Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and halting the ongoing outbreak in West Africa. This is the first outbreak of this kind and it is rapidly spreading across countries in the region, making it unprecedented in size and geographical distribution. So far, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports 7178 cases, including 3338 deaths.
WHO decided to expedite the development of two of the most advanced vaccine candidates identified so far, one which GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is co-developing with the Vaccine Research Center of the US National Institutes of Health, and the other being developed by Crucell, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson, supported by the US National Institutes of Health.
Watch Dr. Ripley Ballou from GSK and Dr. Olga Popova from Crucell explaining the R&D challenges in developing a vaccine and how the pharmaceutical industry is helping to respond to the outbreak. These interviews were recorded further to the WHO Geneva meeting on 4-5 September aimed to discuss with scientists, regulatory bodies and companies how to fast-track the clinical development of an ebola vaccine.
More information on the distribution of ebola cases and fatalities is available on the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) website. More information on Ebola disease and transmission is available here (WHO).