May 7, 2015
Statement of Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases National Institutes of Health
In partnership with the Liberian Ministry of Health, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health is pleased to announce the successful enrollment of all 1,500 planned participants in the Phase 2 portion of the Ebola vaccine clinical trial known as PREVAIL (Partnership for Research on Ebola Vaccines in Liberia). The study, which launched on February 2 of this year in Monrovia, Liberia, is evaluating the safety and efficacy of two experimental vaccines (cAd3-EBOZ and VSV-ZEBOV) in preventing infection with the Ebola virus. Together, with a group of committed study volunteers, we met the critical vaccination goal for this stage of the trial and will continue to move forward with further evaluation of the two vaccine candidates.
The scale and duration of the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been unprecedented, claiming more than 10,000 lives. Thanks to extraordinary coordinated efforts in the affected countries, the outbreak is coming under control. However, there remains a need for an effective, licensed Ebola vaccine to prevent future large outbreaks.
NIAID was honored to accept the invitation last fall from the Liberian Ministry of Health to form a clinical research partnership to test Ebola vaccines and treatments in a manner that conforms to the highest medical, ethical and safety standards. Hundreds of Liberians and Americans have worked together to successfully plan and conduct the PREVAIL trial and achieve today's milestone. We commend the hard work and dedication of the PREVAIL study team at Redemption Hospital in Monrovia, and we are especially grateful to the Liberian people who volunteered to participate in the trial.
Lastly, we commend the approximately 110 U.S. government employees and contractors-including nearly 70 NIH employees from multiple Institutes and Centers-who have logged more than 180 trips to West Africa since October 2014 in support of the partnership's efforts. Their work, which has contributed importantly to the field of Ebola research, exemplifies the NIH mission to foster innovative research that demonstrates scientific integrity and social responsibility. We remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting them and our partners in West Africa as we face the challenges ahead in the fight against Ebola.
Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., is Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.