The Swiss firm behind a possible Ebola vaccine

An Ebola vaccine undergoing clinical trials in Lausanne was first developed by an Italian with venture capital from Basel.  (SRF/

This content was published on October 30, 2014 - 09:00

Clinical testing in humans for the vaccine is taking place at the Lausanne University Hospital. The vaccine was chosen for the trials by the World Health Organisation and is produced by the British company GlaxoSmithKline. It was first developed by a small biotech company based in Basel, before being sold for the sum of €250 million (CHF301 million).

The firm, Okairos, was headed by Riccardo Cortese, an Italian molecular biologist, who devised the technologies behind the Ebola vaccine in his laboratories. He works near Rome where he directs his own research laboratories but still lives in Basel.

The technology used by GlaxoSmithKline for the Ebola vaccine will also be used  to develop vaccines against hepatitis C, HIV and malaria. 

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