Merck announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to the investigational vaccine V920 (rVSV-ZEBOV-GP, live attenuated) for the Ebola Zaire virus.

V920 was originally engineered by scientists from the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory. Merck licensed V920 from NewLink Genetics in the late 2014 when the Ebola outbreak in western Africa was at its worst. 

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The V920 Ebola vaccine is currently being investigated in various Phase 2/3 studies, with funding from the US Government including the Department of Health and Human Service’s Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority (BARDA) and the Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Program/Joint Vaccination Acquisition Program (DTRA/JVAP). Additional research for V920 is ongoing.

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