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Pharmaceutical Companies Continue To Push Forward Ebola Vaccine Development

Forbes: Big Pharma Rises To The Ebola Challenge
John LaMattina, senior partner at PureTech Ventures

“Back in 2016, during the emergence of Zika in North America, Professor Michael T. Osterholm wrote an editorial for Science in which he bemoaned the apparent dearth of vaccines for Zika and Ebola. … In fact, at that time two companies, Merck and J&J, were already developing an Ebola vaccine. … Fast forward to the spring of 2018 with a new Ebola outbreak emerging in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But this time, the WHO was already armed with 4,300 doses of Merck’s vaccine … ready for rapid deployment to the outbreak area. … Reports are now emerging that these efforts succeeded and officials are cautiously optimistic that the outbreak is over. … J&J is still pushing forward with their vaccine efforts as well. … [The vaccines developed by Merck and J&J] could complement each other. … Here are two of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies working on an Ebola vaccine — a vaccine that offers no potential for financial return. These same R&D efforts could easily be used to find vaccines that are needed in the western world, vaccines that certainly would prove to be financially rewarding…” (6/26).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.