Like most websites The Medicine Maker uses cookies. In order to deliver a personalized, responsive service and to improve the site, we remember and store information about how you use it. Learn more.
Manufacture Vaccines


The West African Ebola virus epidemic killed over 11,000 people and sparked global panic. It also highlighted an important issue: our world is not well prepared for a global public health crisis. The epidemic potential of Ebola had been under discussion for years before the outbreak hit, and yet we had no targeted therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics, or plans in place. It was fortunate (for those outside of West Africa) that the virus was largely contained, but the number of deaths caused by a single infectious disease is surely unacceptable for an industry that prides itself on improving human health and saving lives. Countermeasures for Ebola are now under development and the Democratic Republic of Congo approved the use of an experimental vaccine earlier this year to help contain Ebola outbreaks.

Ebola is just one example of an infectious diseases that has the potential to cause mass deaths, disruption and panic across the globe. It is also an unfortunate fact that there are those who seek to use infectious diseases as biological weapons. Bacillus anthracis, the pathogen behind anthrax, for example, is naturally occurring and, with the right expertise, can be isolated and cultivated for delivery via aerosol. The threat of bioterrorism has been intensely discussed in the US ever since the country was affected by anthrax attacks in 2001, but the Ebola outbreak has further fuelled the discussion – and may have highlighted to budding bioterrorists how underprepared the world is and just how powerful infectious diseases can be. Aside from infectious diseases, bioterrorists have access to other bioweapons too, such as nerve agents. Novichok was recently used in the UK to target an ex-spy, but some civilians were caught in the biocrossfire. Antidotes do exist but must be administered rapidly, which would likely be infeasible after a large-scale incident.

Enjoy our FREE content!

Log in or register to read this article in full and gain access to The Medicine Maker’s entire content archive. It’s FREE and always will be!

Login if you already created an account

Or register now - it’s free and always will be!

You will benefit from:

  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Medicine Maker magazine

Or Login as a Guest or via Social Media

About the Author

Stephanie Sutton

Making great scientific magazines isn’t just about delivering knowledge and high quality content; it’s also about packaging these in the right words to ensure that someone is truly inspired by a topic. My passion is ensuring that our authors’ expertise is presented as a seamless and enjoyable reading experience, whether in print, in digital or on social media. I’ve spent seven years writing and editing features for scientific and manufacturing publications, and in making this content engaging and accessible without sacrificing its scientific integrity. There is nothing better than a magazine with great content that feels great to read.


Send me the latest from The Medicine Maker.

Sign up now

Related Articles

Discovery & Development

Spiraling Towards an Answer

| Maryam Mahdi


Back to Basics

| David Walker


A Winning Bid

| Jim Jackson

Most Popular

Register here

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:

  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Medicine Maker magazine


December Issue of The Medicine Maker