NIH and Ebola

No, the bear didn’t have Ebola. But this came across the transom from NIH this week:

The NIH is playing several important roles in dealing with this very serious situation. For decades, intramural and extramural researchers supported by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have been working tirelessly to improve our understanding of the Ebola virus and develop diagnostics to detect the virus early, therapeutics to treat illness caused by the virus, and vaccines to prevent infection.

Several experimental diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines are in development and approaching the clinical trial phase. NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center has accelerated a Phase 1 clinical trial to test the safety of a candidate Ebola vaccine. The trial will start enrolling patients this September, as authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. If the vaccine is found to be safe, expanded Phase 1 and early Phase II trials to test development of protective antibodies could begin as soon as January 2015. Optimistically, the vaccine could be available for individuals at highest risk for exposure to Ebola, such as health care workers, a year later. The NIH has also been supporting the development of a number of promising treatments, including preclinical work on potentially therapeutic monoclonal antibodies that you may have heard about in news accounts. It will be important to determine through clinical trials whether they are therapeutically effective in Ebola patients. You can learn more on the NIAID website:

2016 would be pretty optimistic. Hopefully, this is correct.

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