The Status of Ebola Vaccines

Sep 13, 2018

Minimization of the threat and prevention of outbreak from the Ebola virus are the major challenges faced by many countries across the world. But various market players have their vaccine approved, some are in clinical trial phase, while some are waiting for the approval. These research and activities have resulted in upsurge of the market. According to the research firm Allied Market Research, the global Ebola virus disease (EVD) vaccines market will reach $56 million by 2020. 

Three decades of work on an Ebola virus vaccine have now come to fruition. Thomas Geisbert, Ph.D., a professor of microbiology and immunology, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB Health) has helped in creation of the experimental rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine.

The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine operates by replacing the Ebola virus with another virus in the body that does not pose any threats to humans. The T-cells of the body that are part of immune system have been taught to identify and attack the Ebola virus. This process counters the replication of the hazardous virus. However, there are various challenges faced in predicting where to administer the vaccine to counter the virus. Merck & Co. developed the rights for this vaccine in 2014, and more than 7,500 doses of this vaccine have been distributed the Democratic Republic of the Congo by WHO in May this year.

There are only two licensed Ebola vaccines. Out of which, one has been approved by the Chinese government and the other has been approved by the Russian government. Along with Merck, Jannsen Vaccines, a unit of Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline PLC have been waiting for the approval of their Ebola vaccines. The health ministry of Congo, in taking steps to counter an Ebola outbreak, has approved four experimental treatments in the Northeast part of the country. ZMapp, Favipiravir, Remdesivir, and Regn3450–3471–3479 have been approved and nearly 1,600 people have vaccinated in the region.

Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, outlined that significant improvements are needed to find a safe and effective Ebola vaccine. According to the clinicaltrials.gov, nearly 36 trials of Ebola vaccine have been completed and another 14 are in the active phase. The researchers also reviewed the status of four vaccine candidates including Ad26.ZEBOV, chAd3-EBO-Z, MVA-BN-Filo, and the GamEvac-Combi vaccine. After the review, they realized that more research is needed on determining durability and rapidity of immune responses for various approaches of vaccine. The future research would fill important gaps in knowledge and devise the best vaccine that would help in preventing the outbreak of the Ebola virus.   

 

Nisha Dodeja, is a keynote senior consultant on digital marketing at Allied Analytics.

 

 

 

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