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Purchase Agreement to Boost Ebola Vaccine Development

By Labmedica International staff writers
Posted on 31 Jan 2016
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A deal to help boost development of a vaccine to protect against Ebolavirus infection was finalized at the recent Davos Conference in Switzerland.

Gavi (Geneva, Switzerland), the global alliance for vaccines and immunizations, announced that it would spend five million USD to purchase the Ebola vaccine under development by the pharmaceutical company Merck (Kenilworth, NJ, USA).

Gavi is an international organization that was created in 2000 to improve access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries. This organization brings together the public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to vaccines for children, wherever they live.

The current deal will enable Merck to advance its rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine through the development process of late-stage clinical trials, licensing, and pre-qualification by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the agreement, Merck will provide 300,000 doses of the vaccine that will be available beginning in May 2016 for expanded use in clinical trials as well as being accessible for emergency use throughout the clinical development period.

The parties hope the vaccine will be submitted for a license by the end of 2017.

Dr. Seth Berkeley, CEO of Gavi, said, “New threats require smart solutions and our innovative financing agreement with Merck will ensure that we are ahead of the curve for future Ebola outbreaks.”

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