Replikins releases data on ebola gene structure

Synthetic vaccine developer Replikins, Ltd., released new data on Thursday showing changes in the gene structure of the ebola virus.

The mean ebola reston gene Replikin count, or number of Replikins per 100 amino acids, increased 16-fold in 2013, according to a Replikins press release.

The increase follows a twofold Replikin count increase in 2010 and a threefold increase in 2012. The mean Replikin count for the ebola gene between 1995 and 2002 was 1.1.

Replikins said the increase of the Replikin count in recent years predicted the current West African outbreak of ebola.

Replikin count technology was used in the past to predict other deadly outbreaks. An increase of gene Replikin counts for H1N1 influenza, found in 2008, preceded the 2009 pandemic. The count has also been used to predict outbreaks of H5N1 influenza.

The technology was also used to create a synthetic vaccine effective against H5N1 influenza in five days. Replikins is currently working on a synthetic anti-ebola candidate.

The World Health Organization recently opened a new operations facility in Guinea to combat the ebola outbreak. More than 950 cases of the disease have been recorded so far, with more than 600 deaths. The approximate mortality rate is 63 percent.