Even as backers pledged $390 million for Ebola vaccines, Swiss researchers have suspended the testing of one of the leading Ebola vaccine candidates after some volunteers reported unexpected side effects.
It’s not the vaccine being tested by GlaxoSmithKline but one developed by the Canadian government and licensed to NewLink and Merck.
An antiviral developed by Chimerix in Durham also is being tested.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Hopitaux Universitaires de Geneve said the trial had been suspended “as a precautionary measure.” The study involving 59 people began in November.
Researchers reported four cases of mild joint pain in the hands and feet in people who got the shot 10 to 15 days earlier. Officials will stop giving the vaccine next week to get more data and liaise with others who are testing the vaccine in the U.S., Canada, Germany and Gabon.
The trial is scheduled to resume in January in Geneva.
Also on Thursday, the global health group known as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, pledged up to $300 million to pay for vaccines and another $90 million for distribution once a safe vaccine is available.
Gavi is support in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Gates Foundation is also supporting efforts at Chimerix.
“The Ebola outbreak reminds us of the critical importance of vaccines in fighting infectious diseases,” said Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley. “The Board’s decision underlines Gavi’s commitment to support the people of the Ebola-affected countries by ensuring that they will have access to a WHO-recommended vaccine as soon as one is approved and available from manufacturers.”
Read more at: http://www.gavi.org/Library/News/Press-releases/2014/Gavi-commits-to-purchasing-ebola-vaccine-for-affected-countries/#sthash.5bzLEro8.dpuf