I think this is just normal "business practice" under capitalist relations
of production. Throwing in the term "genocide" amounts almost to a sort of
justification of capitalism, implying that it a moral outrage, correctable
by better morals. Probably the term "genocide" (which always calls up the
Nazi Final Solution) is often more confusing thanenlightening.
From: Science for the People Discussion List
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Sent: Monday, October 13, 2014 1:51 PM
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Subject: NewLink Genetics, of Ames Iowa, Implicated in African Ebola
NewLink Genetics, of Ames Iowa, Implicated in African Ebola Genocide?
October 11, 2014-- http://portside.org
Greg Laden's Blog
According to those intimately involved in the response to the West African
Ebola outbreak, NewLink Genetics owns the rights to a piece of the puzzle
needed to quickly test and deploy one of two likely Ebola vaccines and they
are holding up the entire process because they are not entirely sure they
are going to get rich on it. Others suggest it is incompetence. NewLink
seems to be claiming it is just a lot of paperwork.
From as story in Science
Stephan Becker is tired of waiting. The virologist at the University
of Marburg in Germany is part of a consortium of scientists that is ready to
do a safety trial of one of the candidate vaccines for Ebola. But the
vaccine doses he's supposed to test on 20 German volunteers are still in
Canada. Negotiations with the U.S. company that holds the license for
commercialization of the vaccine.have needlessly delayed the start of the
trial. "It's making me mad, that we are sitting here and could be doing
something, but things are not moving forward," Becker says.
. it's inexplicable that one of the candidate vaccines, developed at
the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in Winnipeg, has yet to go in the
first volunteer's arm, says virologist Heinz Feldmann, who helped develop
the vaccine while at PHAC. "It's a farce; these doses are lying around there
while people are dying in Africa," says Feldmann,.
At the center of the controversy is NewLink Genetics, a small
company in Ames, Iowa, that bought a license to the vaccine's
commercialization from the Canadian government in 2010. Becker and others
say the company has been dragging its feet the past 2 months because it is
worried about losing control over the development of the vaccine. But Brian
Wiley, vice president of business development at NewLink Genetics, says the
company is doing all it can. "Our program has moved forward at an
unprecedented pace," he says. Even if it took another few months, "we would
still be breaking a record in terms of getting this into patients." Wiley
says the holdup is "the administrative process": agreeing on a protocol,
getting collaborators to sign the right contracts, securing insurance in
case something goes wrong.
Marie-Paule Kieny, a vaccine expert and WHO assistant
director-general, disputes that NewLink is dragging its feet. "We have so
far been able to resolve issues along the way, to get moving as fast as
possible," she says.
A stock of the Canadian-developed VSV vaccine is stored at PHAC in
Winnipeg. The Canadian government owned 1500 doses, 800 to 1000 of which it
has donated to WHO; the rest are owned by NewLink Genetics.
Scientists say WHO's vials could have already been shipped to the
research centers planning to do phase I trials. One such trial is scheduled
at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland;
other studies, by a consortium that includes WHO and Becker, are on the
drawing boards in Hamburg, Germany, in Geneva, and at sites in Kenya and
Gabon. PHAC is ready to ship the doses "at a moment's notice," a
But for a clinical trial to start, regulators require information
about how the vaccine was manufactured, and that resides with NewLink
Genetics, which has been slow to release it, people familiar with the
negotiations say. .
Part of the problem may be that NewLink is a small company, with
about 100 employees, that has concentrated on immunotherapies to fight
cancer in recent years. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development
Authority-a U.S. government agency tasked with speeding up the development
of emergency drugs and vaccines-recently sent two staffers to Ames to help
NewLink file documents needed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a
U.S. government representative says. "Our engagement of outside help has
nothing to do with our competence, but with the urgency around this matter,"
Those who are taken ill and die of Ebola are the victims of a natural
disaster, until paperwork, incompetence, greed, or some combination of those
delays an international response by weeks time. After that, it is something