News Release Article from  Government of Canada

Archived - Canadian Ebola Vaccine Trials Begin

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Experimental Ebola vaccine developed by Public Health Agency of Canada to be tested in humans

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, today announced the launch of Phase 1 clinical trials for Canada’s Ebola vaccine (VSV-EBOV) at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.

The Phase 1 clinical trial will test the vaccine on a small group of people to assess its safety, determine the appropriate dosage and identify any side effects. Canada has supplied 20 vials of the experimental vaccine for use in the trial.

Scientists at the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) developed the vaccine, which has shown great promise in animal research. This vaccine could be an important tool in helping to control the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The Canadian government owns the intellectual property associated with this vaccine and has licensed the rights to NewLink Genetics through its wholly owned subsidiary BioProtection Systems. The U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency is working with BioProtection Systems to further develop the product for use in humans.

This testing will assess whether the vaccine is safe for use in people and determine the appropriate dose necessary to provide immunity. Outcomes of this Phase 1 trial are expected in December 2014.

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada owns the intellectual property associated with the vaccine.
  • In August, the Government of Canada announced the donation of between 800-1000 vials of its experimental vaccine to the World Health Organization to help in the Ebola outbreak response.
  • Other Phase 1 clinical trials are being considered in Canada, Europe and Africa.
  • There has never been a case of Ebola in Canada and the risk to Canadians remains low.


“The Government of Canada is committed to supporting efforts to control the Ebola outbreak and hopes that advancing research on this experimental vaccine will be able to help address this global crisis. These clinical trials are an important step in addressing some of the ethical considerations around providing an experimental vaccine to assist in controlling the outbreak.”

Honourable Rona Ambrose,
Minister of Health

“Canada has long been a leader in Ebola research and innovation, and this vaccine is the product of years of hard work. It is our sincere hope that when these trials are complete, the vaccine can be used to help save lives and put an end to this devastating outbreak.”

Dr. Gregory Taylor
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada

“The scientists working on the Ebola vaccine at the National Microbiology Laboratory have seen positive results in the development of the Ebola vaccine to date. The team is very excited to have the vaccine proceed to the Phase 1 stage of clinical trials and we hope that this testing proves successful and that the vaccine will be approved for use to help control the ongoing outbreak in West Africa.”

Steven Guercio
Acting Director General
National Microbiology Laboratory

Related Products

Fact Sheet – Ebola Virus Disease

Associated Links

Canada's Public Health Response to Ebola
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) - News Releases and Statements for 2014


Michael Bolkenius
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
(613) 957-2983

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