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RUSAL hospital in Guinea launches a study for an anti-Ebola vaccination using a Russian drug

Conakry, August 9, 2017 – UC RUSAL (SEHK: 486, Euronext: RUSAL/RUAL, Moscow Exchange: RUAL/RUALR), a leading global aluminium producer, and the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation announce the start of the post-authorisation study of the Russian vaccine GamEvac-Combi in the Republic of Guinea to counter Ebola.

In this study set up at the Centre for Epidemic and Microbiological Research and Treatment (CEMRT) established by RUSAL in Kindia, over a thousand volunteers will be vaccinated. The test will include the vaccination of volunteers followed by the observation and monitoring of their health and immune system for one year. Successful results will allow the application of the Russian vaccine as a preventive Ebola treatment worldwide. In order to properly manage the post-authorisation study of the Russian vaccine, the Ministry of Health of Guinea set up the National Vaccination Assistance Committee led by Chairman, Sakoba Keita, Head of the Sanitary Protection Agency of Guinea.

GamEvac-Combi was created by the Gamaleya Federal Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. This medication development was initiated by the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin after an inquiry made by the President of Guinea, Alpha Condé, at the end of 2014. The vaccine was bio-engineered without pathogenic Ebola viruses. The basis of this vaccine is the genetic material of adenovirus and the vesicular stomatitis virus which are safe for humans. Material was genetically modified to hold information about the GP protein structure of Ebola virus. The advantage of the Russian vaccine is the simple storage requirements: GamEvac-Combi can be transported and stored at temperatures below -16°C while other similar vaccines require at least -60°C, which is hard to maintain in the African climate.

The drug was registered in Russia at the end of 2015. It was presented to World Health Assembly on February 15 and May 28 2016. Currently, the drug is used for the vaccination of Russian doctors and other personnel travelling to the regions which have a high risk of infecting of the Ebola virus. Once this post-authorisation study proves the efficiency of the vaccine, it can be distributed around the world as a preventive treatment against deadly Ebola virus.

“Vaccinations in Guinea are a sizable contribution of Russia in a war against Ebola as well as new hope for the entire of West of Africa to make the risk of deadly infections an issue of the past, thanks to Russian medication. Russia and RUSAL have been supporting Guinea in Ebola disease control and through our mutual cooperation, we managed to deliver results to stop the spread of the epidemic in the country. Our partnership demonstrates a successful implementation of the public-private partnership principles in solving social problems,” said Vladislav Soloviev, CEO of RUSAL.

The vaccination and the subsequent check-up of the population of Guinea will be done at CEMRT, which was built by RUSAL at the height of the Ebola epidemic. This Centre is unique for Western Africa in terms of applied hi-tech solutions and bio-safety systems. The Centre was built in accordance with the recommendations of international humanitarian agencies and is equipped with state-of-the-art medical and laboratory equipment. RUSAL’s investment in construction of CEMRT amounted to over USD 10 million. The operation of the Centre at the time of the Ebola epidemic resulted in the highest figures of recovery in Guinea: 62.5% patients of CEMRT with a confirmed Ebola infection have successfully completed their treatment. Currently CEMRT is the leading Centre for research and prevention of infectious diseases in Guinea, and is also the training base of domestic epidemiologists.

RUSAL has been operating in Guinea since 2011, and is one of the largest foreign investors in the country. In Guinea, RUSAL owns Kindia Bauxite Company (Compagnie des Bauxites de Kindia – CBK) and Friguia bauxite and alumina complex. In addition, RUSAL continues to implement the project for the development of the world-largest bauxite field Dian-Dian, Boke.

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