BERN, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss agency for the authorisation and supervision of medicinal products, Swissmedic, has fast-tracked an experimental trial of the VSV-EBOV Ebola vaccine at the University Hospital of Geneva (HUG). According to the news released by the federal government on 6 November, 115 volunteers will be enrolled in the trial which is being backed by the World Health Organization (WHO), based in Geneva.
The experimental vaccine was developed in Canada, based on the virus that causes vesicular stomatitis, a disease affecting animals characterised by ulceration of the oral mucosa.
This virus has been genetically modified to express glycoproteins of the Zaire Ebola virus (ZEBOV) so as to provoke an immune response against real Ebola viruses.The experimental vaccine will be tested on healthy volunteers, some of whom will be deployed as medical staff in the fight against the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.VSV-EBOV is also being tested on healthy volunteers in the USA, Germany, Gabon and Kenya.
HUG says volunteers -which must be between 18 and 65 years of age – will receive 810 Swiss francs, for participating in the study.
The Swiss federal government has said that “While this clinical trial is in progress, any adverse reactions and amendments must be reported to the Ethics Committee and/or Swissmedic;” but HUG says the trial is safe and complications rare.
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