Essential medicines and health products

Race to find safe and effective Ebola vaccines yields encouraging results

On 8 January 2015, WHO held its second high-level meeting on Ebola vaccine access and financing. Preliminary data from Phase I clinical trials of two Ebola vaccines were presented to a gathering of government officials, vaccine manufacturers, research institutions and international partners at WHO’s headquarters in Geneva on 8 January showed encouraging results.

Ebola vaccines, therapies, and diagnostics

Ebola specific prevention and treatment tools do not exist at the moment. In response to the severity and breadth of the current epidemic in West Africa, WHO has been spearheading efforts to galvanize the research and development of vaccines, treatments and diagnostics to curb the outbreak and ensure that these tools, if safe and effective, are also available for potential future outbreaks. To that end, WHO has convened the affected countries, donor and scientific communities, civil society and industry to gather the best evidence available and garner support for accelerated development and testing of the most promising tools. Two vaccines now being tested for safety could go into late phase trials in early 2015 and if results are positive they could be available to the affected populations by mid-next year.

WHO hosts joint review of Phase II clinical trial application for GSK Ebola vaccine

On 15-16 December 2014, WHO will host a meeting for the joint review of the clinical trial application for the Phase II clinical trial of the ChAd3 Ebola vaccine. Present at the meeting will be representatives from the manufacturer of the vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline, from the national medicines regulatory authorities and ethics committees of the countries in Africa where conducting Phase II trial of this vaccine are being considered (Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal) and of those countries most affected by the outbreak (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone). Also in attendance to provide technical assistance, when requested, will be experts from vaccine regulatory agencies in Canada, the European Union, Switzerland, and the United States of America.

Norway-WHO meeting boosts fight against antimicrobial resistance

An international meeting held in Oslo, Norway, on 13-14 November, focused on the responsible use of antibiotics and other anti-infection medicines to curb rising resistance in humans to these important public health tools. Participants from over 20 countries reasserted the shared responsibility of all countries and all sectors in fighting this silent but dangerous epidemic. The countries agreed on a series of strategies and interventions to promote better use of antimicrobials, including advocacy efforts and improving efficiencies within the health system. The meeting, organised by the Government of Norway, in collaboration with WHO/EMP, was part of the consultation process for the finalisation and endorsement WHO’ global plan of action on antimicrobial resistance.

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