AMerica started a $ 10 million project to make a vaccine against a fatal cousin of the Ebola virus considered a potential bioterrorism weapon.
Finding a way to stop the Marburg virus is "an urgent need for public health and biodiversity," the US government said.
The haemorrhagic fever virus has caused a series of deadly epidemics in Africa since it was discovered in the 60s. Several outbreaks have had high mortality rates, killing four out of five infected.
"In addition to the threat of natural infection, the Marburg virus, like Ebola, is considered a potential threat of bioterrorism by the US Department of Homeland Security," a statement said.
The US Government's Advanced Biomedical Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has awarded a $ 10 million two-year contract to a Massachusetts-based biotech company to work on the vaccine.