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Human trials of Ebola vaccine to take place in Oxford

The first human trials of a potential Ebola vaccine could begin in the Oxford as early as mid-September.

The candidate vaccine has been being developed by the US National Institutes of Health and pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. Funding from a consortium of British bodies has allowed the UK trials to be fast-tracked.

Medicins Sans Frontieres health workers at an Ebola treatment camp in Monrovia, Liberia
Medicins Sans Frontieres health workers at an Ebola treatment camp in Monrovia, Liberia Credit: REUTERS/2Tango

Professor Adrian Hill, who will be running the trials at Oxford University, said he was looking for 60 healthy individuals aged 18 to 50 to take part in the study. Volunteers will have to make nine visits over six months and will receive modest compensation for their time.

Unlike with vaccines for some other illnesses, it does not contain any infectious virus material, so it "cannot cause a person who is vaccinated to become infected with Ebola," GlaxoSmithKline said in a statement.

Manufacturers are planning to produce around 10,000 doses of the potential vaccine that will be distributed to "high-risk communities" if the trials prove successful. Other trials are being planned in the US, Gambia and Mali.

British man sentenced to 2.5 years in prison in China

British corporate investigator Peter Humphrey has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for illegally obtaining records on Chinese citizens, while his American wife was handed a two-year jail sentence, at a court in Shanghai.

Peter Humphrey and his American wife went on trial in Shanghai.
Peter Humphrey and his American wife went on trial in Shanghai. Credit: CCTV/AP

The couple ran risk consultancy ChinaWhys, whose clients included British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc, which is at the centre of a separate corruption probe.

According to a statement read out by a court official at a press conference, Humphrey will be deported, but it gave no further details on that aspect of the judgment, including on whether Yu would also be deported.

The couple has the right to appeal their sentence within 10 days, the court added.

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Trial of British man in China could be key to GSK probe

The trial of a British man and his American wife, who are accused of illegally obtaining and selling private information on Chinese nationals, could be key to a bribery investigation against pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.

The trial of a British man and his American wife could be key to a probe into GSK.
The trial of a British man and his American wife could be key to a probe into GSK. Credit: Reuters

Peter Humphrey and Yu Yingzeng ran a risk consultancy called ChinaWhys, whose clients included GSK, and their testimony is being closely watched for any comments on the British firm.

The couple's arrest last year coincided with a government investigation into the company who are accused of funneling millions of pounds through travel agencies to bribe local doctors and health officials to raise prices and boost sales.

However, GSK was not mentioned on the charge sheet against Humphrey and Yu.

Prosecutors claim the couple have obtained over 200 items of private information including phone records and real estate documents and then re-sold the data.

Read more: Briton 'illegally obtained Chinese citizens' details'

Briton on trial for 'illegally obtaining data on Chinese'

A British man and his wife went on trial in Shanghai today for illegally obtaining and selling private information about Chinese nationals.

Peter Humphrey and his American wife went on trial in Shanghai.
Peter Humphrey and his American wife went on trial in Shanghai. Credit: CCTV/AP

The arrest of Peter William Humphrey and Yingzeng Yu last year coincided with a Chinese bribery investigation into pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.

The couple were investigators who operated a small firm in China that helped corporate clients screen potential partners and employees and watch for embezzlement.

Glaxo said it hired Yu and Humphrey to investigate a security breach but prosecutors have not said whether the two cases are linked.

Read more: Briton 'illegally obtained Chinese citizens' details'

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Serious Fraud Office appeals for GSK whistleblowers

The Serious Fraud Office has confirmed it has opened a criminal investigation into the commercial practices of GSK and its subsidiaries.

It appealed for whistelblowers from the company to help them with their inquiries.

Whistleblowers are valuable sources of information to the SFO in its cases.

We welcome approaches from anyone with inside information on all our cases including this one - we can be contacted through our secure and confidential reporting channel, which can be accessed via the SFO website.

The scandal is the latest in a number of corruption probes in Iraq, Poland and China against the company.

Anyone with any information can contact the Serious Fraud Office confidentially through their website.

GSK pledges to fully co-operate with criminal inquiry

Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline said it intends to co-operate fully with the criminal investigation into its operations by the Serious Fraud Office. In a statement, the company said:

GSK is committed to operating its business to the highest ethical standards and will continue to co-operate fully with the SFO.

Read: GlaxoSmithKline under criminal investigation in the UK

GlaxoSmithKline under criminal investigation in the UK

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline is under criminal investigation here in the UK, the company said.

The Serious Fraud Office has opened a case against the drugs giant Credit: PA

The London-based multinational corporation said the Serious Fraud Office has opened a "formal criminal investigation".

The company is facing similar investigations in Iraq and China.

GlaxoSmithKline facing fresh allegations of corruption

The UK-based drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline is facing fresh allegations of corruption after Chinese police accused senior executive Mark Reilly of bribery.

In a statement by the official Xinhua News Agency, police said GSK's Mark Reilly is accused of pressing sales teams to bribe doctors, hospital officials and health institutions.

It said that resulted in "illegal revenue" of billions of yuan - hundreds of millions of dollars.

More: GSK experiencing a little local difficulty in China

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