- The FDA's Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will meet on May 12 to discuss Ebola vaccines.
- The focus will be on development and licensure.
- Two of the vaccines that will be discussed include Mapp Biopharmaceutical's ZMapp and Tekmira's vaccine, TKM-Ebola.
After a period of relative quiet, a U.S. healthcare worker tested positive for the Ebola virus while in Sierra Leone and has since returned to the U.S. Overall, more than 10,000 people have died from the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea since the current outbreak. However, public discussion of Ebola died down quite a bit as the rate of infection slowed. In the second week of January, there were only eight cases of Ebola reported in the hardest hit countries.
The latest infection of a healthcare worker is a wake-up call. Companies with Ebola viruses in development, including Mapp and Tekmira, have continued to develop and test their vaccines. In addition, Ebola vaccines are being developed by a variety of companies and agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and NewLink Genetics Corp, and Johnson & Johnson. All of these will be up for discussion when the committee meets in mid-May.