SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A South San Francisco company is developing an Ebola vaccine that can be administered by tablet rather than injection.

Privately-held Vaxart said after a recent meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration it expects to begin human clinical trials of its Ebola vaccine tablet in the first quarter of 2015.

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Three other Ebola vaccines are in development by U.S. pharmaceutical firms with testing slated to begin over the next few months, along with a fourth being developed in Russia, but each of those are in injectable form.

Vaxart says its tablet vaccines can be stored at room temperature for more than a year, versus the cold storage needed for injectable vaccines.

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The tablet form of vaccines would offer a significant advantage over injectable versions because it could be distributed and administered in areas with limited infrastructure.

Nearly 5,000 people have died in the Ebola outbreak in west Africa.

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