THE CANADIAN PRESS by Helen Branswell Dec. 19, 2014
TORONTO -- Earlier this week, U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law a little piece of legislation that may significantly change the economics of making drugs or vaccines to protect against Ebola and other viruses in its deadly family.
And it might at some point provide a tidy windfall for Merck, the company now developing an Ebola vaccine designed at Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.
A World Health Organization scientist unpacks the Canadian-made Ebola vaccine after receiving them in Geneva on Oct. 22, 2014. Swiss researchers temporarily halted a clinical trial of a Canadian-made Ebola vaccine after seeing an unexpected side-effect in a few people who received the serum. (Mathilde Missioneiro/THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - WHO)
The bill -- S.2917, also known as "Adding Ebola to the FDA Priority Review Voucher Program Act" -- dangles a sizable carrot meant to entice pharmaceutical companies into developing vaccines and therapies to prevent or cure infection with the virus and other related pathogens in the filovirus family.