China's Ebola vaccine enters clinical trials

Updated: 2014-12-18 22:22


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BEIJING - An Ebola vaccine developed by a military research institute has been approved to enter the human test stage, the Chinese People's Liberation Army's (PLA) General Logistics Department announced Thursday.

The restructured vaccine, developed by the Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMC), is based on the 2014 mutant gene type and especially targets the strain plaguing west Africa.

The vaccine is currently in the form of freeze-dried powder, which will keep it stable for at least two weeks in temperatures of up to 37 degrees Celsius. This will make it suitable for the tropical west African region and assist with large-scale production, according to a review report by 17 experts in the field.

It makes China the third country to put Ebola vaccine under clinical trials following the United States and Canada.

The Chinese drug has obvious advantages compared with other vaccines in clinical phase, the report said. The foreign vaccines are based on the gene type from 1976 and are in liquid form that have to be stored in temperatures of 80 degrees Celsius below zero.

The deadly virus has claimed more than 6,000 deaths in west African nations, spreading as far as the United States and Europe.

Since the outbreak, China has sent about 750 million yuan (120 million U.S. dollars) and some 500 medical staff and experts to Ebola-hit countries, building laboratories and treatment centers.