first_imgThe Ebola vaccine furthest along in development has cleared a critical milestone and edged closer to entering large-scale efficacy trials in West African countries hard hit by the current epidemic.As reported online today in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), a U.S. study done in 20 healthy people at no risk of developing the disease found the vaccine caused no serious side effects and, as hoped, triggered immune responses against the Ebola virus. The vaccine, jointly developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), contains a gene for the Ebola surface protein stitched inside a harmless chimpanzee adenovirus. Researchers at NIAID in Bethesda, Maryland, began the trial on 2 September, and the super–fast-track development of the vaccine could move it into trials involving 15,000 people in Liberia and Sierra Leone at high risk of developing the disease as soon as mid-January, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci told ScienceInsider.Other small studies of the vaccine, which, combined, involve 260 people, are under way in Mali, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland and should produce data by the end of next month. Ripley Ballou, who heads Ebola vaccine development for GSK, told ScienceInsider that the company needs these data before it can finalize plans for efficacy studies. In particular, Ballou says the ongoing trials should clarify which dose of the vaccine will trigger the most robust immune responses without side effects.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The report in NEJM describes results from two different doses: The higher one triggered more impressive antibody and T cell responses, but it also caused “transient fever” in two recipients. Fever is an early symptom of Ebola itself, and a vaccine that raises body temperature could lead recipients to needlessly worry they were developing the disease. “Clearly we want to select a dose that is both immunogenic and has an acceptable reactogenicity profile, including a low rate of fever,” says Ballou, who is based in Rixensart, Belgium. The ongoing trials are also evaluating a dose in between the two used in the NIAID trial.Fauci says he has no hesitation moving forward with the higher dose used in the NIAID study. “Obviously, we’d like to see no fevers, but the fact that we had two fevers that lasted less than 24 hours doesn’t bother me,” Fauci says. “We see transient fevers with other vaccines.”Similar small-scale tests of a second Ebola vaccine began in October; results are also expected by December that will determine whether to move it into efficacy trials, and at which dose. That vaccine, licensed by the Canadian government to NewLink Genetics of Ames, Iowa, contains the gene for Ebola’s surface protein stitched into a weakened version of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), a pathogen that causes disease in livestock. NewLink, a small startup that focuses mainly on cancer drugs and has no products on the market, has been somewhat in the shadows of GSK, a big pharma. But on 24 November, NewLink and pharmaceutical giant Merck of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, announced that they had entered a licensing agreement to jointly research and develop the VSV Ebola vaccine.Results from those efficacy studies could be in by April 2015. If the vaccines protect people from Ebola and appear safe, a pressing question will surface: Will GSK and Merck have enough doses produced by then to vaccinate enough people—which could mean hundreds of thousands or even millions—to help bring this epidemic to an end?*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public.last_img read more

first_imgTrafalgar are reporting more than 20 per cent growth in sales for its European Christmas itineraries, and are expecting a similar upturn with its latest 2011/12 Autumn, Winter & Spring programme.The new brochure, launched today with discounted rates and an added agents incentive to win Apple products, offers customers new tours including an English Stately Homes at Christmas as well as adding the popular At Leisure programme for the first time to the range.“The tours were built on from consumer feedback,” Trafalgar, Managing Director, Matthew Cameron-Smith said.Also new is the incorporation of Eurostar and New Year Eve transfers, and all inclusive wine to be served during the major meal each night.The brochure, launched earlier this year due to market demand, is expected to follow other packages with a shorter lead time for bookings, according to Mr Cameron-Smith.“Australians are still weighing up their options.  There’s more options for travel these days and everyone is very deal orientated.”Mr Cameron-Smith said there was a “real pick-up” on Trafalgar’s new products, which also encourage repeat passengers to diversify their selection of tours.Although the European summer programme is still the company’s most popular, Mr Cameron-Smith said the Christmas itineraries was still an integral part of the mix and offers would-be travellers savings of up to 20-30 per cent compared to other times of the year.“The winter prices are sharper, more inclusive and we are transparent with our guests on their inclusions,” he said.The USA family programme has also been successful, which Mr Cameron-Smith attributed to the strong Australian dollar and inter-generational travel options.A trend of attracting a new demographic of younger travellers has also boosted business, with Mr Cameron-Smith specifically identifying local Regional Tours as a key seller for “changing the conversation we have with guests, changing the perception of our brand in the marketplace”.Mr Cameron-Smith urged agents to continue selling 2011 summer itineraries with several tours still offering good availability.New demand for Groups has resulted in the appointment of a specialised team at Trafalgar to handle growing enquiries.For more information on Trafalgar’s 2011/12 Autumn, Winter & Spring program, visit Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.Mlast_img read more