NewLink Genetics awarded federal contract to work on Ebola test vaccine

The Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has awarded a NewLink Genetics subsidiary with an $8.1 million base contract, with the option of a further $5.2 million, to work on development of the rVSV-ZEBOV (Ebola) vaccine candidate, NewLink Genetics said recently.

"The new contract from DTRA is key to the continuing rapid development of this Ebola vaccine candidate," NewLink Chief Scientific Officer and CEO Dr. Charles Link said. "These funds will support studies of our Ebola-vaccine candidate that we hope will demonstrate its safety in large rural populations."

NewLink has licensed research, development and manufacturing of the vaccine candidate, which was originally developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, to Merck. The company, known alternatively as MSD, gained the exclusive license because of its vaccine expertise, in hopes of a quicker development process.

Clinical studies are ongoing, and the federal funding is intended to support rVSV-ZEBOV’s development and investigation going forward.

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