GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is expecting to commence clinical trials on its experimental Ebola vaccine as soon as next month.
A GSK spokesperson was quoted as saying the trial should begin ‘later this year’.
The vaccine is under development with GSK in collaboration with scientists at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
The vaccine has already shown promising results in primates, and is likely to start Phase I testing in humans only after approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
NIAID said in a statement that testing would start ‘as early as fall 2014’ or in September, and noted that the vaccine may not be put in place for widespread deployment before 2015.
According to the Guardian, a GSK official said: "It is right at the beginning of the development journey and still has a very long way to go."
The new experimental vaccine, which is based on a chimpanzee adenovirus, was acquired by GSK after the purchase of the Swiss-based biotech company Okairos.
Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared an international health emergency for Ebola, which is reported to have claimed the lives of around 1,000 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, Africa.
The US has already joined forces with European countries and the WHO to combat the spread of Ebola.
Image: An electron micrograph of an Ebola viral particle showing the characteristic filamentous structure of a Filoviridae. Photo: courtesy of CDC/ Dr Frederick A Murphy.