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Ebola Virus Disease Update 2015: Johnson & Johnson Begins Human Testing of New Vaccine

Ebola Virus
(Photo : Flickr / NIAID / CC) The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta confirmed that the laboratory technician who might have been infected by the Ebola virus has not shown signs of the disease.

American pharmaceutical and consumer goods manufacturer Johnson & Johnson announced on Tuesday that it has already started clinical testing program for a newly developed vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus, according to Newsday.

As part of the programs initial stage, the vaccine and a placebo drug will be administered to 72 adult participants. A follow-up shot of the vaccine will be conducted after a few months.

The early stages of the testing program will focus on identifying any side-effects the vaccine might produce on the human subjects. The company will then proceed with testing the vaccine on a larger-scale with more than 400,000 doses in April of 2015.

Johnson & Johnson noted that it will be able to create around five million doses of the vaccine in 12-18 months. The company is targeting to produce two million batches within the year, Industry Week reported.

The Ebola virus vaccine from the company was developed in partnership with the World Health Organization and the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, according to a press release from the company.

It was created by combining it with a vaccine from the Denmark-based biotechnology firm Bavarian Nordic.

"We are urgently working to provide our vaccine expertise, production capabilities, our people and resources to address the Ebola crisis," Johnson & Johnson CEO and Chairman Alex Gorsky said in a statement in October.

"Our innovation model enables us to quickly mobilize our extensive resources to collaborate with health authorities and governments and other experts to help contain this disease, save lives, and protect the health and lives of those at risk," he added.

Dr. Johan Van Hoof, an executive from Johnson & Johnson's subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals explained that prior testing revealed that the vaccine can prevent the development of the Ebola virus strain.

"In preclinical testing conducted in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, the combination vaccine regimen has shown complete protection against Ebola," he said in a statement.

Tags Ebola virus, Ebola Vaccine, health, Science

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