A panel of the European drugs regulator on Friday recommended approving Merck & Co’s vaccine for the deadly Ebola virus.
EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation in the European Union for Ervebo, the first vaccine for active immunisation of individuals aged 18 years and older at risk of infection with the Ebola virus.
“This is an important step towards relieving the burden of this deadly disease,” said Guido Rasi, EMA’s Executive Director.
“The CHMP’s recommendation is the result of many years of collaborative global efforts to find and develop new medicines and vaccines against Ebola. Public health authorities in countries affected by Ebola need safe and efficacious medicines to be able to respond effectively to outbreaks and save lives.”
Ebola virus disease is a rare but severe illness caused by the Ebola virus.
Death rates in patients who have contracted the disease have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks. The largest outbreak to date occurred in West Africa in 2014-2016 with more than 11,000 deaths.
The current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which is caused by Ebola Zaire, has shown case fatality rates of approximately 67%. More than 3,000 people have been infected with the Ebola virus during the ongoing outbreak, which was declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) in July 2019.
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