Human Testing of Ebola Drug Set to Begin this Week

Carrie Dedrick | Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Human Testing of Ebola Drug Set to Begin this Week

The experimental Ebola vaccine GSK/NIAID is set to begin testing on humans this week. CNN reports that the drug will be tested at the National Institutes of Health, first trying it on healthy adults to monitor for adverse effects. 

Since there is great need for an Ebola drug, some usual FDA requirements were waived to expedite the trial. Therefore, the trial will first be given in a small dose to ensure the safety of participants. 

GSK/NIAID reportedly did well in previous experiments with chimpanzees. But Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director said that the previous trials do not necessarily ensure the success of human trials. 

As the experiment continues, an international consortium formed to fight Ebola will fund 10,000 doses of the GSK/NIAID vaccine. These drugs would be given to the World Health Organization if the group decides to start performing immunizations in the highest risk countries in Africa. 

Another Ebola drug, ZMapp was given to American missionaries Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly, both of whom recovered from the virus. However, there has been too little testing performed on the drug to determine if it caused their recoveries. 

Publication date: September 2, 2014