GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) shares inched up 0.4% after the company announced that its Ebola vaccine development process has been fast-tracked by an international consortium. Overall, the stock is up 0.9% since the announcement.
Ebola Vaccine Details
Glaxo is collaborating with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (:NIH) to develop an Ebola vaccine. The development process for this candidate is to be accelerated with funding (including a £2.8 million grant from the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council and the UK Department for International Development) from an international consortium.
The ethical and regulatory approval process for phase I studies on the Ebola vaccine will be accelerated. On receiving the requisite approvals, the study could start as early as mid-September.
Meanwhile, Glaxo will manufacture up to approximately 10,000 additional doses of the Ebola vaccine, using the consortium’s funding, during the initial phase of the studies. This would ensure the immediate availability of the vaccine to the World Health Organization (:WHO) if the study results are positive.
The WHO has declared the Ebola epidemic a public health emergency of international concern. The current outbreak of the disease has claimed more than 1,400 lives in West Africa.
Several companies including Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (TKMR) are developing Ebola vaccine candidates. Tekmira soared over 45% to end the trading session on Aug 8 at $20.70 per share following encouraging news from the FDA on its Ebola candidate TKM-Ebola (read more: Tekmira Pharma Soars on FDA Announcement over Ebola Drug).
Glaxo is a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) stock. Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include Endo International (ENDP) and Allergan (AGN). Both are Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks.
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