12 Nov 2019 11:39

Vector starts making EpiVacEbola vaccine for Africa

NOVOSIBIRSK. Nov 12 (Interfax) - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signaled the start of production of an Ebola vaccine for the Democratic Republic of Congo at the Vector State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology.

Ebola is an acute viral infection found in humans and certain animal species.

The current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo began in late July 2018. As of October 18, 3,228 people have contracted the disease in the republic, and 2,157 of them have died.

Medvedev ordered in October to allot almost 400 million rubles to Rospotrebnadzor in 2019-2020 for assisting the Democratic Republic of Congo in containing the outbreak, including by means of the Russian vaccine.

The production was launched in a videoconference with the Vector production facility, which makes Russian vaccines, including the EpiVacEbola synthetic peptide vaccine designed on the orders from the Russian government. The workshop employees told the prime minister that they were ready to make 5,000 doses of the vaccine for Africa.

"Start working. This is a very important task," Medvedev said, and the production began.

He wished successful production of the vaccine to the scientists.

In addition, Medvedev was briefed on the activity of the reverse genomics laboratory designing new vaccines. According to the lab employees, the oldest of whom is 30, they develop a flu vaccine strain within six or seven days since the date of receiving genetic material with the help of modern equipment and technologies, while Western labs need 14 days for the same operation.

According to the scientists, the laboratory is creating a fourth-generation smallpox vaccine. The first phase of its clinical trials will end soon, and production of the medicine will begin in a year.

The scientists thanked Medvedev for a considerable salary raise, which drew in young personnel. Eight young specialists were recruited by the reverse genomics lab over the last year.

The lab has created six vaccine platforms, including the one for Ebola and Marburg fevers.

According to the scientists, the platforms could also be used for designing breast and skin cancer vaccines.