ebola gown
Reuters

GlaxoSmithKline has revealed that it is likely to have the world's first vaccine against Ebola by late 2014.

"I fully anticipate that the initial supply should be available before the year end," said Andrew Witty, CEO at GSK. "It will give WHO [the World Health Organization] and other agencies a useful tool."

The British pharmaceutical giant also announced it has appointed Dr Moncef Slaoui, one of the most influential people in the bio-pharma industry, as Chairman of Vaccines.

Dr Slaoui, who has moved from his role as chairman of R&D, has previously engineered the development of several vaccines, including Rotarix against infantile gastroenteritis, and Cervarix against cervical cancer.

GSK shares are now rising over 3% to 1,382.00p after the company revealed it is leading the development of a vaccine for the worst Ebola epidemic in history, which has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization is pushing for early testing of two experimental versions of the Ebola vaccine as early as January next year, on 20,000 health care workers and volunteers in West Africa.

Although the initial stock of vaccine doses will not be enough to address the number of reported infections, it will provide protection to healthcare workers facing the brunt of the epidemic, according to AP.