- Tianjan CanSino Biotechnology, a privately held Chinese company, is investing $315 million in an Ebola vaccine-maufacturing facility.
- The facility will be finished at some point during 2017-2018, however, there is no production-start date yet.
- The vaccine was developed at China's Academy of Military Medical Sciences.
The epidemic that killed 11,000 people in West Africa, with the first outbreak in December 2013, has waned to the point that were no new cases in any of the three hardest hit countries—Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone—last week, signaling the complete end of the crisis.
At the height of the epidemic, when there were constant images of healthcare workers in full garb and dead people lying on the ground among terrified residents in small villages, it seemed that it would take decades to come up with an effective vaccine.
However, in a case of everyday irony, as the epidemic faded, companies, government facilities, and academic labs that had been laboring behind the scenes to create a vaccine reached their goal. Merck/NewLink Genetics' vaccine has proven 100% successful in a clincal study in Guinea, and Johnson & Johnson is progressing with clinical trials of their vaccine as well.
All of this has long-term value, including the manufacturing plans in China, because although Ebola is now under control, it could easily flare back up in the region.