UPDATE 2-Ebola vaccine trial halted temporarily after joint pains -Geneva hospital

Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:33am EST
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* Merck-NewLink trial in Geneva halted after joint pains

* Lausanne says safety data "satisfactory" in GSK vaccine trial (Adds statement on GSK Ebola vaccine, new paras 4-7)

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA, Dec 11 (Reuters) - A clinical trial of an Ebola vaccine developed by Merck and NewLink has been halted temporarily as a precautionary measure after four patients complained of joint pains, the University of Geneva Hospital said on Thursday.

"They are all fine and being monitored regularly by the medical team leading the study," it said in a statement.

The trials will resume on Jan. 5, on up to 15 volunteers, after checks to ensure that the joint pain symptoms in hands and feet were "benign and temporary", the hospital said.

Fifty nine volunteers have been vaccinated so far in the human safety trials in Geneva, which began on Nov. 10.

Scientists are racing to develop Ebola vaccines after the world's worst outbreak of the virus has killed more than 6,000 people in West Africa so far this year.

Separately, safety data from a trial of a GlaxoSmithKline Ebola vaccine on 120 volunteers is "satisfactory", the University of Lausanne Hospital said on Thursday.   Continued...