A clinical trial vaccinating people in Guinea exposed to Ebola virus has been found to have a 100 percent efficacy. That means none of the 2,000-plus people researchers immediately vaccinated got the virus.
Part of this vaccine was developed at Ames-based New Link Genetics. Swati Gupta is an executive director of Merck Vaccines which licensed the Ebola vaccine from New Link. Gupta says now, more trials are underway to administer the vaccine to people who need it.
"The next steps is to take this information that we’re now aware of. Hopefully it’s going to have a very large influence on regulatory policy and influence in the future," says Gupta.
Gupta says the vaccine was created by adding an Ebola gene to the Vesicular stomatitis virus.
"That in of itself cannot cause infection or disease," says Gupta. "But it can help generate an immune response against Ebola."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the government of Sierra Leone are also currently running vaccine trials on health and frontline workers, who are exposed to Ebola. Since last year, more than 11,000 people in West Africa have died from the virus.