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.

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.

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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