Experimental Merck vaccine gears up to fight Congo Ebola outbreak

May 15, 2018  Source: Ddu 264

As the Democratic Republic of Congo deals with a rising death toll owing to the latest outbreak of Ebola, health officials are moving fast to counter the fatal effects of the deadly virus. Plans are afoot to implement the experimental vaccine developed by Merck & Co to confront the overwhelming challenges posed by the virus. The development project was revamped by the pharma giant in the midst of an Ebola breakout in 2014 and 2015.

A statement from Merck alluded to the fact that the company is closely collaborating with MSF and WHO to roll out the vaccine. It is estimated that thousands of doses are ready to be sent out with the Geneva-based WHO prepositioning 4,300 doses of the investigational V920 vaccine to aid relief efforts in the outbreak area.

The company has its own stockpiles of more than 300,000 emergency use doses. Scientists from the Public Health Agency of National Microbiology Laboratory of Canada and a licensee of the subsidiary of NewLink Genetics have engineered the V920 vaccine in the initial stages. With a view to expedite the development of the vaccine to confront the Ebola outbreak at its peak in 2014 in western Africa, Merck licensed the candidate from NewLink Genetics.

By editor

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