|Published : 19 Apr 2017, 14:31:51|
Ebola fear still haunts Africa
Ebola had long been seen as a danger in Africa and there was research for a vaccine, notably backed by US biodefence funds because of the disease’s potential use as a biological weapon, according to a global media report.
That meant there were several experimental products already in the process of being tested when the latest outbreaks occurred.
Yet severe bottlenecks remained, including testing in animals to provide regulators with assurances over safety. The infection again died out before full-scale efficacy trials could begin.
For many other potential infectious disease threats, there is no early-stage pipeline of vaccines. Cepi will help fund and co-ordinate research, liaise with regulators and the World Health Organisation and build the infrastructure to prepare for clinical trials in often very poor and inaccessible parts of the world at risk.
Some questions have been raised about Cepi’s choice of vaccines on which to focus initially alongside Ebola: MERS, Nipa and Lassa. These were selected in consultation with scientific advisers, based on assessments of the feasibility of the science and the threat and potential burden of the diseases.