UH researcher working on Ebola vaccine - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

UH researcher working on Ebola vaccine

KAKAAKO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Ebola outbreak of 2014 killed over 11,000 people, including one American.  However, there is still no vaccine.

But one scientist at the John A. Burns School of Medicine is working to change that. Dr. Axel Lehrer has been working on a vaccine for over 12 years, and is relatively close to having one.

"We estimate between 12-18 months will be required to start testing in humans," he said.
 
Lehrer is far from alone in the race to find a cure. Other vaccines are in development, but differ from his because they contain part of the ebola virus to stimulate the immune system. While it's a proven formula, there are drawbacks.
 
"People that are immune compromised, elderly or have other infections may not be good recipients of this vaccine," he noted.
 
Lehrer's uses recombinant proteins to simulate the virus, then subsequently stimulate the immune system.
 
"We in some ways have proven to the scientific community that something that people that thought was not possible can be done can be done with this virus."
 
However, in order to finish development of the vaccine, Lehrer needs to raise significant funds, ‘several million' dollars as he describes it.  Once the money is raised the John A Burns School of Medicine will partner with Hawaii Biotech Inc. to produce the vaccine.
 
In the UH Ebola vaccine work, no infective virus will be in Hawaii. There is zero risk from the work of human or animal infection. 
 
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