UW Waisman Center produces experimental Ebola vaccine

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MADISON Wis., (WMTV)-- The Waismen Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will begin biomanufacturing an experimental vaccine for Ebola.

Ebola Virus Photo Credit: CDC / Charles Humphrey

The facility has been given $3 million to produce up to 1,000 doses of the vaccine. It's being led by Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka who has studied the Ebola vaccine for more than a decade.

"We currently have no treatment for Ebola and we have to come up with something," said Rebecca Moritz, who is a bio-safety expert with the University of Wisconsin.

Ebola is a rare, and deadly virus, which can be found in several Western African countries. It also has periodic global outbreaks, the most recent happening between 2013-2016.

"[It's] a unique virus in the fact that it hides out in its natural host, and then it shows up every once in awhile. When it shows up and depending on who it affects and where those people go from there depends upon how big the outbreak can be," said Moritz.

The vaccine made at the Waismen Center will mimic the Ebola virus by using a form of the virus called Delta VP30, which is noninfectious and safe to work with under routine laboratory conditions.

The lab is hopeful this vaccine will be stronger than other Ebola vaccine candidates because Delta VP30 mimics the entire virus, which should create a stronger human immune response.

Tuesday at 4:30p.m. the Waismen Center will host a panel about the vaccine. The panel will be in the first floor auditorium of the West Annex.