Recently, the FDA approved ERVEBO®, an Ebola vaccine sponsored by Merck. As it turns out, the compelling vaccine has its roots in Fort Detrick. Shown to be effective in a clinical trial and presently in use against the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Merck reported that it is the only effective vaccine against the Zaire strain of Ebola.
Fort Detrick has been involved early on. The Joint Project Manager for Chemical Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Medical (JPM-CBRN) provided a test that enabled Merck to test human and non-human primate samples, reported the Frederick News-Post. Apparently, this group has been working on the creation of the Ebola vaccine since 2004. They outlined a methodology for the safety data collected from the Phase I clinical trial reported a Col. Ryan Eckmeier, joint project management for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Medical. The Fort Detrick team established a methodology that supported the ability of differing groups to compare data in an “apples to apples” way, reported Col. Eckmeier. He reported that this (the approval) couldn’t have been possible without the collaboration from JPM-CBRN plus other units within the military, such as USAMRIID and Merck.
USAMRIID helped lead several studies assessing the vaccine in animal models, a fundamental early stage in the research lifecycle, reported Caree Vander Linden, a USAMRID spokesperson. USAMRIID has been involved since the beginning, working diligently to make sure to test immune response and feasibility. Moreover, the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease (NIAID), with a presence on Fort Detrick, was involved as was Walter Reed, which falls under U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command.
Representing the largest employer in Frederick County, Maryland, Fort Detrick is a U.S. Army Medical Command installation located in Frederick, Maryland. Historically, this research center was at the center of the U.S. biological weapons program from 1943 to 1969. Since the discontinuation of that program, it has hosted most elements of the United biological defense program. By the early 2010s, the 1,200-acre campus supported a multi-governmental community that conducts biomedical research and development, medical materials management, global medical communications and the study of foreign plant pathogens.
Fort Detrick is hope to the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command (USAMRMC) and its bio-defense agency, as well to the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) and the National Cancer Institute-Frederick (NCI-Frederick) and home to the National Interagency Confederation for Biological Research (NICBR) and National Interagency Biodefense Campus (NIBC).