FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP/CBS4) – Researchers at Colorado State University have been picked to help develop a vaccine to prevent people from being infected by Ebola.
The university said Monday that its Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing and Academic Resource Center, or Biomarc, has been awarded a $2 million Department of Defense contract for the work.
The lab, which has passed FDA inspections, hopes to have the final product ready for clinical trials in early 2015.
Center director Dennis Pierro says researchers will not use a live virus in their work.
“You just need certain proteins from that virus that the body will recognize and produce antibodies against,” he said.
Nevertheless, researchers will wear protective equipment and work in a laboratory with its own ventilation system.
“We need to make it in a very safe way, in a way that the FDA would want it to be made to protect humans,” Pierro said.
The main purpose is to develop a vaccine to protect soldiers from Ebola and other deadly viruses, including the Marburg virus. However, the university says that it could eventually also be used to treat others in case of an outbreak.
There is no vaccine for Ebola. The current outbreak of the virus has infected approximately 10,000, most in several western African countries. Nearly half have died.
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