19-Dec-14 10:00 AM  CST

Drug Manufacturer Halts Trial of Ebola Vaccine Due to Joint Pain

NewLink Genetics Corporation states they have stopped clinical trails on their Ebola vaccine as a precaution after 59 people complained about pain in their hands and feet. The vaccine, which is being sponsored by Merck, is currently in Phase I Clinical trials and has been touted as a hopeful stop to the spread of the deadly Ebola virus that has sicken more than 18,000 and killed 6500 in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns that any vaccine may cause side effects, and that this most recent issue may not necessary be related to the vaccine. NewLink is committed bringing a safe and effective Ebola vaccine to the market, and has stopped the clinical trials simply as a precautionary measure. The NewLink vaccine was produced from an animal virus strain known as Vesicular Stomach Virus (VSC). A second Ebola vaccine is also currently under Phase I Clinical trials by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and will soon begin Phase II trials in 2015.

There has been no news of issues with the GSK Ebola vaccine. The GSK Ebola vaccine is based off of a chimpanzee virus that does not infect the patient with Ebola, but rather gives the body the ammunition it needs to fight against the virus. Along with producing antibodies to fight the Ebola virus the vaccine has been found to encourage the production of T-cells that “hunt down” invading virus cells and kills them before they can do more harm to the body.

Drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson are also in the process of developing an Ebola vaccine and hope to begin clinical trails as well. With thousands deaths linked to the Ebola virus in West Africa a viable vaccine cannot come soon enough.





Chen, C., (2014) “GlaxoSmithKline Ebola vaccine found safe in early test “Bloomberg News, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-26/glaxosmithkline-ebola-vaccine-found-safe-in-early-tests.html, retrieved 13.December 2014

NBC News, (2014) “Joint Pain interrupts Ebola vaccine trial”, http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ebola-virus-outbreak/joint-pain-interrupts-ebola-vaccine-trial-n266516, retrieved 13. December 2014


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Source: Sandy Andrews  

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