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The United States said on Monday a new phase of Lassa fever vaccine clinical trials would begin in Nigeria and two other countries in West Africa soon.

In a statement issued by the Public Affairs Unit of the US Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, said the vaccine trials would also take place in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The statement added that the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative was awarded €22.8 million by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to conduct a Phase IIB trial of the IAVI Lassa fever vaccine candidate among adults and children in the three countries.

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The statement read: “This joint award supports an international collaboration across Africa, Europe, and North America, called the ‘Lassa Fever Vaccine Efficacy and Prevention for West Africa’ which will also strengthen the research capacity of investigational sites where Lassa fever outbreaks and disease occur frequently.

“The LEAP4WA consortium consists of the following members: IAVI Inc., U.S.; IAVI Sichting, Netherlands; Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, U.S.; Ministry of Health and Sanitation/Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone; Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, U.K.; University of Liberia, Liberia; Epicentre, France; and Henry M. Jackson Foundation Medical Research International Ltd/Gte(HJFMRI), Nigeria.

“In Nigeria, HJFMRI will conduct the study at its Clinical Research Centre (CRC) supported by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

“Other supported WRAIR Lassa projects being implemented at the CRC and other sites across Nigeria include a Lassa incidence study in collaboration with the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, a Lassa seroprevalence study, and a potential opportunity for a CEPI-funded Phase IIa Lassa vaccine study through a WRAIR/IAVI collaboration.”

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