Scientists in Japan have begun a new clinical trial for a potential Ebola vaccine developed by researchers in the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine.

The new vaccine is different from most experimental vaccines, which typically use a secondary virus to deliver part of the Ebola virus to the immune system. The new vaccine contains only the Ebola virus, though the gene that enables viral infections has been edited out.

Yoshihiro Kawaoka is a professor of pathobiological sciences who led the development of the vaccine alongside research associate Prof. Peter Halfmann. He says the vaccine leads to more protective antibodies being created in treated patients.

“Our vaccine contains everything except one small protein … and it’s an inactivated virus, so it’s safer,” Kawaoka said.

In the first phase of the clinical trial, 15 young men in good health will receive two doses of the experimental vaccine. Women aren’t being included in this phase to avoid any subjects who could be pregnant, as the Ebola virus poses more of a threat to pregnant women. Importantly, no subjects will be exposed to the virus in the first phase of the trial.  Read the full story here.