The clinical trials for a new Ebola vaccine in Liberia were halted due to a fall in new cases, informed Britain's Wellcome Trust. The decision was taken by the Trial Steering Committee, which includes scientists from Liberia, the University of Oxford and Medecins Sans Frontieres.
The Wellcome Trust, Britain's biggest scientific research charity and who was funding the trial said, "The current position is that there is no realistic prospect of the trial enrolling sufficient patients to be able to reach a conclusion about the efficacy of the drug. Therefore the trial has been terminated. The decision was taken on Tuesday after the pharmaceutical company Chimerix, which manufactures the brincidofovir vaccine, said it was withdrawing from the trial on Friday."
Peter Horby from the University of Oxford, who was leading the trial, said, "We're delighted that infections are falling, but fewer patients makes it more difficult to carry out the robust scientific studies needed."
Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, said , "It was disappointing that the trial could not continue. It is essential that other studies of potential treatments and vaccines continue and hopefully will still be able to deliver meaningful results for this and the inevitable future epidemics of Ebola."
Stephen Kennedy, a study investigator from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Liberia said, "The scientific community will move on without any clear evidence regarding the role of brincidofovir in the management of Ebola."
Weekly Ebola infections in West Africa have dropped to below 100 for the first time in more than 6-months. Thus, raising hopes the worst-ever outbreak of the virus is coming to an end.