AMES, Iowa – A pharmaceutical company based in Ames is working on a vaccine for the deadly Ebola virus that has killed almost 900 people in Africa.
"We believe that we have a product that is very helpful in this situation. We believe it is as likely to be as effective in humans as in the non-human primates we've studied," said Jay Ramsey, Clinical & Regulatory Compliance Officer of NewLink Genetics.
NewLink Genetics has signed a contract with the federal government. The company will work on studies to bring the vaccine closer to human trials. The hope is that it will be ready for testing in a government hospital in a matter of months.
"We believe that the vaccine we have - which has been hugely successful in all animal models tested ... is ready to move forward into clinical testing," said Ramsey.
Officials said the vaccine has been 100% effective in preventing the infection when given to non-human primates.
The company just signed a preliminary contract with the government on Monday. It allows for $1 million in funding, that amount could be increased at a later time.