The Ebola crisis has been an unusual and rapidly changing situation. The world was caught off guard, and the sheer scale and the pace of this public health emergency meant that no single organisation was able to solve it, requiring many different partners to work together to respond.
For GSK’s part, we have worked closely with WHO and other stakeholders as part of an international initiative to dramatically accelerate development of our GSK/NIH Ebola vaccine candidate.
GSK has invested considerable resources, manufacturing capacity, expertise and man hours in this effort. We have relied on significant support from the WHO, regulators, governments and others involved in the global response to help overcome a number of hurdles we faced in the clinical development and manufacturing scale up processes.
Furthermore, this accelerated development programme has been made possible by the support of academic partners in the UK, US, Switzerland and Mali and the generous financial support provided by partners including the Wellcome Trust, the European Commission and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. To date, partners have committed approximately £25 million to support development of the candidate vaccine.
We are encouraged by the positive international collaboration to date.
Our current partnerships
Formation of an international consortium comprising the Wellcome Trust, the UK Government and the UK Medical Research Council
In August 2014, an international consortium assembled to accelerate collaborative multi-site trials of candidate Ebola vaccines.
A £2.8 million grant was provided by the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to enable a team led by Professor Adrian Hill, of the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, to start safety tests of the vaccine in the UK alongside similar trials in the USA run by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID, a part of the NIH).
A proportion of the consortium’s funding supported GSK to begin manufacturing additional doses of the vaccine (around 20,000 doses) at the same time as the initial clinical trials, so that if the trials proved successful we had vaccines available to start the next phase of clinical assessments of the vaccine candidate. Read more here.
Support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
In October 2014, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation agreed to provide GSK with approximately £1.8 million ($3million) funding to help accelerate the development of the GSK/NIH Ebola vaccine candidate and qualify the assays used to characterize the immunogenicity of the product. The Foundation’s financial support allowed GSK to manufacture a second lot of vaccine to enable rapid progression to the next phase of testing.
Support from the European Commission and Swiss Government
The European Commission (EC) announced in October that it would provide funding as part of its Horizon 2020 initiative to support research into treatments and vaccines for Ebola. Out of the total funding of approximately £20 million (€24.4 million), the EC is generously providing approximately £12 million (€15.1 million) to help accelerate development of the GSK/NIH Ebola vaccine candidate which is currently the most advanced in clinical testing. In addition, the Swiss Government contributed approximately £1.2 million (€1.42 million).
Following successful results from the phase 1 trials, these contributions are being used to support the next expanded phase of clinical testing of the vaccine candidate.
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