Jan 22 (Reuters) - U.S. health officials said on Thursday that they are planning to conduct larger phase 2/3 clinical trials starting in the next two weeks in Liberia to determine if an Ebola treatment being developed by GlaxoSmithKline and another by Newlink Genetics with Merck & Co are safe and effective.
Earlier Thursday, the World Health Organization said the epidemic in West Africa appears to be ebbing.
There have been 21,724 cases of Ebola reported in nine countries in the past year since the epidemic began in Guinea, including 8,641 deaths, according to the latest WHO figures.
The officials, speaking on a conference call, also said that they expect to soon start phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials of the ZMapp Ebola virus treatment that is being developed by privately held Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. They said they believe they have produced enough ZMapp to supply the trials. (Reporting by Bill Berkrot and Caroline Humer; editing by Andrew Hay)