British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline's (LON:GSK) (NYSE:GSK) experimental Ebola vaccine was approved for testing on human beings, even as the death toll from the deadly virus continues to increase.
Bloomberg reported that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its nod to conduct a phase 1 trial, which is the first test of a drug or vaccine in humans to assess safety and efficacy.
GSK is developing the vaccine, which doesn't contain any infectious Ebola virus, with the VaccineResearch Centre of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US.
Michael Kurilla, director of the Office of Biodefense, Research Resources and Translational Research, told Bloomberg in a telephone interview that health authorities are discussing whether to give thevaccine to at-risk people in West Africa.
He added that researchers may need to study the vaccine in humans for about a month to assess its effect.
GSK had earlier said that it was working with regulators on trials.
The current Ebola outbreak, which particularly affected West Africa, has so far claimed 1,427 lives in four countries. A cure for the virus is yet to be discovered.
US drug-maker NewLink Genetics, which is also working on an Ebola vaccine, said it has contracted with another firm to increase the product's manufacturing and supply before beginning pre-clinical trials.