Contracts to speed further development of two promising Ebola vaccines, known as rVSV-ZEBOV-GP and ChAd3 EBO-Z, could pave the way for commercial-scale production of millions of vaccine doses if clinical trials prove safety and efficacy, officials of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) announced Dec. 23.

Development of both vaccines is being accelerated because of the public health emergency of international concern in West Africa. The funding was designated in the fiscal year 2015 continuing resolution for development of Ebola products.

Both contracts are sponsored by the ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). One contract is with GlaxoSmithKline in Philadelphia for 31 months and $12.9 million with options that would provide an additional $16,000. The other contract is with BioProtection Systems Corporation of Ames, Iowa, a wholly owned subsidiary of NewLink Genetics Corporation, for approximately 14 months and $30 million. It has options to extend the agreement 10 months and provide an additional $41 million.

“While we’re encouraged that traditional public health measures and supportive medical care are starting to control the outbreak in West Africa, the need for vaccines and therapeutics remains an urgent priority,” said BARDA Director Robin Robinson, Ph.D.

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